Sunday, February 15, 2009

TCM Features Artist Biopics

Toulouse-Lautrec has been the subject of biographical film by John Huston, Moulin Rouge (1952), he is portrayed by Jose Ferrer. Reportedly, John Huston asked cinematographer Oswald Morris that he wanted the color scheme of the film to look "as if Toulouse-Lautrec had directed it."

José Ferrer plays both Henri and his father, the Comte Alphonse de Toulouse-Lautrec. To transform Ferrer into Lautrec required the use of platforms and concealed pits as well as special camera angles, makeup and costumes. Short body doubles were also used and, in addition, Ferrer used a set of knee-pads of his own design which allowed him to walk on his knees with his lower legs strapped to his upper body (an experience which must no doubt have been painful). Unfortunately, such methods made Ferrer appear a full 6 inches shorter than Lautrec's true height of 5'1" in most scenes. However, he received high praise not only for his performance, but for his willingness to have his legs strapped in such a manner simply to play a role.

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec was a French painter, printmaker, draftsman, and illustrator, whose immersion in the colourful and theatrical life of fin de siècle Paris yielded an oeuvre of exciting, elegant and provocative images of the modern and sometimes decadent life of those times. Toulouse-Lautrec is known along with Cézanne, Van Gogh, and Gauguin as one of the greatest painters of the Post-Impressionist period.

Gallery...


Vincent Van Gogh (30 March 1853 – 29 July 1890) was a Dutch Post-Impressionist artist. Some of his paintings are now among the world's best known, most popular and expensive works of art.

Lust for Life (1956) is a MGM biographical film about the life of the Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh, based on the 1934 novel by Irving Stone and adapted by Norman Corwin.

It was directed by Vincente Minnelli and produced by John Houseman. The film stars Kirk Douglas (who bore a surprising resemblance to Van Gogh), Anthony Quinn, James Donald, Pamela Brown and Everett Sloane.

MGM produced a short film Vincent Van Gogh: Darkness Into Light, narrated by Dore Schary and showing the European locations used for the filming, to promote Lust for Life. In the film, Jeanne Calment, then 80, who knew Van Gogh when she was a young girl, meets star Kirk Douglas, and comments on how much he looks like the painter. This short promotional film is shown on Turner Classic Movies occasionally. At the start and ending of the film, the creators list and thank a number of galleries, collectors, and historians whom allowed the works of Van Gogh to be photographed for the film.

Gallery...


The Agony and the Ecstasy is a 1965 film directed by Carol Reed, starring Charlton Heston as Michelangelo and Rex Harrison as Pope Julius II. The film was partly based on Irving Stone's biographical novel of the same name; The Agony and the Ecstasy.

Michelangelo, was an Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, poet and engineer. Despite making few forays beyond the arts, his versatility in the disciplines he took up was of such a high order that he is often considered a contender for the title of the archetypal Renaissance man, along with his rival and fellow Italian Leonardo da Vinci. Michelangelo's output in every field during his long life was prodigious; when the sheer volume of correspondence, sketches and reminiscences that survive is also taken into account, he is the best-documented artist of the 16th century.

Gallery of Sistine Chapel ceiling...



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