Cinematographers Who Took Cues from Famous Painters

Patrick Delaney
Patrick Delaney
December 3, 2018

We believe that exposing yourself to different cultures and art forms will enrich both your professional and personal life. It stimulates you with new ideas and ways of understanding the world and helps you reach a healthy work/life balance.

This month, @SUPERGREYBEARD is sharing some cinematographers who took cues from famous painters – @ARSTY. You can read the original article here.

Babette Mangolte

The Sky on Location, 1982
The Sky on Location, 1982

“In her criminally neglected documentary, The Sky on Location (1982), which she shot and directed, she faced a different challenge: rescuing the American West from the prison of kitsch. In essence, her film is a 78-minute essay that tackles one of the visual arts’ most explored (and often cliché-ridden) themes: the beauty of the natural world.”

“Mangolte took inspiration from one of the most doggedly original painters: the documentary, she said in an interview, “captures the mood of the landscape as in a Turner painting.” Like J.M.W. Turner, the English Romantic painter whose images of tempestuous seas and skies remain stunning after nearly 200 years, Mangolte seems to reinvent the natural world as a wilder version of itself, with dizzying proportions and supersaturated colors.”

Conrad Hall 

Edward Hopper, Hotel Lobby, 1943. Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields.
Edward Hopper, Hotel Lobby, 1943. Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields.

“Conrad Hall would consult the creations of many notable painters, but none more frequently than Edward Hopper. Hopper modeled several of his paintings off of scenes from movies; it’s only fair that, in his own work, Hall returned the favor.”

“It was Hopper’s project to convey, in plain, realistic images, the quiet desperation of American urban life. One of the chief marvels of Hall’s cinematography is the way he not only echoes that project but also extends it far beyond Hopper’s original scope.”

“In some of his most striking early work (the 1967 film adaptation of In Cold Blood, for example), Hall shoots spacious, drab public spaces that would seem empty even if they were swarming with people—not unlike the spaces Hopper depicts in Early Sunday Morning (1930) or Seven A.M. (1948).”

Agnès Godard

Number 34, 1949
"Jackson Pollock: Blind Spots" at Tate Liverpool, Liverpool (2015)
Number 34, 1949
“Jackson Pollock: Blind Spots” at Tate Liverpool, Liverpool (2015)

“Agnès Godard, who has lensed some of the most beautiful films of the past few decades, including Jacquot de Nantes (1991) and Beau Travail (1999), rarely alludes to specific painters or paintings. In one of her most recent efforts, Let the Sunshine In (2017), she made an exception. The main character, played by Juliette Binoche, paints large, Abstract Expressionist works, and over the course of the film, Godard shows her hard at work, fanning colors across huge canvases laid flat on the floor.”

“For some viewers, these moments will recall the famous photographs of Jackson Pollock from his 1949 spread in Life magazine, images that immediately redefined painting as a macho, intensely physical endeavor.”

Patrick Delaney, Managing Partner, SoolNua

Patrick Delaney, Managing Partner

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