Happy Saturday, people! We've now reached the 11th in a series of weekly articles for students. The series features articles recommending the best films based on a particular academic subject. It is incredible how much more fun academics get when blended with entertainment and the following list will prove it. In the previous edition, we decided to dig deep by listing out a bunch of movies that would interest archaeology students.
This week, let's bring out our artsy form. The subject is art, not arts as in psychology, sociology, etc. Pure, simple, art. Art is defined as a diverse range of human activities in creating visual, auditory or performing artifacts (artworks), expressing the author's imaginative or technical skill, intended to be appreciated for their beauty or emotional power. Art, although primarily perceived as paintings, heavily extends to films and music as well. Alright then, let's have a look at a few films that every art student must watch, focused on painting. Two honorable mentions would have to be The Danish Girl (2015) and Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003).
1. Frida (2002)
This biopic depicts the professional and private life of the surrealist Mexican painter Frida Kahlo. Directed by Julie Taymor, the film stars Salma Hayek in her Academy Award-nominated portrayal of Kahlo.
2. Andrei Rublev (1966)
The film is loosely based on the life of Andrei Rublev, the 15th-century Russian icon painter. The film's themes include artistic freedom, religion, political ambiguity, autodidacticism, and the making of art under a repressive regime.
3. Lust For Life (1956)
How can we miss a biopic about the Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh? His obsessive devotion to his art engulfs, consumes and finally destroys him.
4. Art School Confidential (2006)
Here's one to break the biopic pattern. This comedy is about a talented young artist who flees to an art school, where his ambition is to become the world's greatest artist, like his hero Picasso.
5. The Mystery of Picasso (1956)
A French documentary about Pablo Picasso. Most of the paintings were subsequently destroyed so that they would only exist on film, though a few may have survived…
6. Mr. Turner (2014)
Another biopic, it is based on the last twenty-five years of the life and career of painter J. M. W. Turner (1775–1851). Written and directed by Mike Leigh, the film stars Timothy Spall in the titular role of the radical and revolutionary painter.
7. Seraphine (2008)
Based on the self-taught French painter with a naive style, Seraphine was a middle-aged housekeeper, who had a remarkable talent for painting. An art critic finds her work very promising and decides to promote her work.
8. Museum Hours (2012)
Let's end this list with a non-biopic. The film is about a Vienna museum guard and an enigmatic visitor, who begin sparking explorations of their lives, the city, and the ways art reflects and shapes the world.