Yes, Julian Schnabel painted the Van Goghs

Contributed by Sharon Butler / While watching At Eternity’s Gate, Julian Schnabel’s new film about Vincent Van Gogh, I wondered if Schnabel had made the paintings and drawings himself, and it turns out he did. “When Willem [Dafoe as Van Gogh] is drawing, sometimes my arm is in one sleeve of his shirt…luckily Willem’s hands and mine look … read more… “Yes, Julian Schnabel painted the Van Goghs”

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Art and Film: Van Gogh’s sanity

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson /  “One man’s insanity is another man’s genius,” Joyce Carol Oates has written. In the popular imagination, though, Vincent Van Gogh was a psychologically tortured idiot-savant. Inner demons, not conscious deliberation, drove him to make his transcendent paintings, which invested natural phenomena with haunting emotional qualities and philosophical portent. Aesthetic discretion … read more… “Art and Film: Van Gogh’s sanity”

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Art and Film: Catherine Weldon and Sitting Bull

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / Trump’s reactionary public policy, which has institutionalized contempt for the advances in social justice forged in the United States over the past 150 years, has produced pervasive discontent. Anger about his racism, misogyny, and homophobia is manifesting itself through art in different ways. In tone, resistance ranges from the simmering observations of Kerry … read more… “Art and Film: Catherine Weldon and Sitting Bull”

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Art and Film: Meta’s meta in Madeline’s Madeline

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / Writer-director Josephine Decker’s remarkably ambitious avant-garde film Madeline’s Madeline drills towards the molten core of the creative process and its hazards by way of the impressive young actress Helena Howard’s portrayal of the even more impressive eponymous young actress. Given that description, it goes almost without saying that the proceedings … read more… “Art and Film: Meta’s meta in Madeline’s Madeline”

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Art and Film: John Callahan’s Higher Power

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / Growing up in Portland, Oregon, John Callahan, who would become a cartoonist noted for his dark, warped humor, had been a promising art student. But his abandonment by his birth mother and the coldness of his adoptive family haunted him. He started drinking at 13, and by his early twenties, … read more… “Art and Film: John Callahan’s Higher Power”

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On July 4th: The art of decency

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / Leave No Trace, Debra Granik’s first dramatic movie since her Winter’s Bone ushered in Jennifer Lawrence eight years ago, is among the best and most resonant films to appear this year. The movie, beautifully filmed mainly in Oregon, involves a disaffected and widowed Marine veteran aptly named Will, played by a brilliantly constrained Ben … read more… “On July 4th: The art of decency”

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Art and Film: The beautifully unlovely Nancy

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / The artistic process comes up quite a bit in cinema. This month alone, three new movies feature protagonists who are artists struggling against various worldly impediments to make their way. At the agreeable end of the spectrum, in Brett Haley’s comforting Hearts Beat Loud, there’s the irrepressibly winning Nick Offerman’s … read more… “Art and Film: The beautifully unlovely Nancy”

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Report from Berlin: Ana Mendieta’s Super 8 films

Contributed by Loren Britton / Ana Mendieta’s exhibition at the Martin-Gropius- Bau is exquisite. Born in Havana, Cuba, in November 1948, Mendieta was sent to the United States in 1961, two years after Fidel Castro overthrew the Cuban Government. Her early work, some made while she was a student at the University of Iowa, is on view at the … read more… “Report from Berlin: Ana Mendieta’s Super 8 films”

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Art and Film: Paul Schrader’s risky business

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / Like an opaque work of conceptual art, writer-director Paul Schrader’s First Reformed is a high-risk venture, laden with the potential for artistic failure and embarrassment. But sometimes you just gotta say what the fuck. The risk paid off. The urgent nihilism of Scorsese’s Taxi Driver, which Schrader wrote, is on full … read more… “Art and Film: Paul Schrader’s risky business”

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Art and Film: Juliette Binoche is a painter on the prowl

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / In Let the Sunshine In (an awkward translation of the original title, Un Beau Soleil Interieur), French director Claire Denis’ gently flaying romantic comedy, Juliette Binoche plays Isabelle, a fiftyish divorced painter on the prowl, with her signature blend of obduracy and vulnerability. As an artist, she seems to live … read more… “Art and Film: Juliette Binoche is a painter on the prowl”

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