Animators have always made excellent subjects for films, as they themselves were primitive filmmakers in a way, using the space of photography without the aid of movement, but still engaging in some version of storytelling. Add to that the fact that painters like Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí have long used the medium of film to enhance their artwork, and the two art forms have been converging naturally for over 100 years.
Through the many eras of modern art, filmmakers have sought to depict the lives of icons who used paintbrushes as a tool of war. Whether made as actual live-action versions or simply live-action films in the fertile environment of animators, films have long benefited from the auditions of these subversives, who often have the life stories that gave birth to their sharp creative talents. Some painters, such as Julian Schnabel, have even gone on to pursue film careers, with Schnabel directing some great films about painters himself. When a well-acted actor settles into one of these historical roles and the writing and directing are on point, we’re in for some great historical dramas.
Below are the most memorable films about animators.
Salma Hayek studied the life of the painter Frida Kahlo Frida, an illuminating portrait of an artist known more for portraits than autobiography. The film shows many aspects of Kahlo’s life, from the communist insurrection in Mexico to her turbulent marriage to Diego Rivera, another Mexican painting. Hayek captured Kahlo’s deep exposure to her emotions in her work, and the ways a traumatic bus accident led her to completely change her art and join the Mexican Communist Party. The tension created when Kahlo threatens Rivera’s supremacy in the Mexican tradition is the film’s most enduring legacy, touching on a point in history when art found its greatest heights from a feminist perspective.
11 Survive Picasso
Survive Picasso A sketch of the creative genius and prolific output of Pablo Picasso, while exposing the less satisfying elements of his personal life and marriages that made the artist such a polarizing figure. The film begins in Nazi-occupied France, where Picasso (Anthony Hopkins) is soliciting his bride to be François Gilot, as he becomes the world’s most famous living painter. The film deals in understanding Picasso’s massive ego more than his paintings, but shows the importance of his paintings Guernica 1937’s a rare political statement from an artist more interested in love and sex.
10 factory Girl
factory Girl It examined the life of Edie Sedgwick (Sienna Miller) – actress, “it” girl, and Andy Warhol Muse. The film chronicles Warhol’s discovery of Sedgewick, making her the star of his films, paintings, and prints, as the young heiress ascends the midtown Manhattan social scene. Warhol’s ability to make flair comes at a cost, as when Sedgewick loses his attention, he quickly shifts elsewhere, as Sedgewick (actress Kyra Sedgewick’s mother) slowly drifts out of the spotlight. Sienna Miller delivers a rousing monologue as Sedgewick, recalling her youth and her relationship with Pop Art’s greatest icon with bittersweet emotion.
9 The girl with the pearl earring
The girl with the pearl earring He sought to uncover the story of Dutch master Johannes Vermeer’s greatest subject from his painting of the same name. Vermeer is one of the Old Masters most revered for his stunning technique of painting light, bolstered by his technological achievement with lenses and camera obscurations. Story elements are certainly embellished, but there’s no one who could do that for a more historically accurate picture of the Netherlands in the seventeenth century. Therefore, the film is a successful rumination on the themes of the world’s most famous paintings, which often go back in history so far back that we forget there is a story behind them.
Illustrator Julien Schnabel turned his focus to filmmaking to create a biopic on his late friend, Jean-Michel Basquiat, in Basquiat. The film examines Basquiat’s rise from graffiti artist to high-profile commodity, all the way using Andy Warhol’s tutelage and source material from the worlds of hip-hop and history to create stunning paintings. Basquiat became the toast of New York, but became increasingly uncomfortable with fame while building an appetite for heroin. Geoffrey Rush provides an illuminating portrait of the shy but ambitious painter, who rose from a Haitian immigrant raised in Brooklyn to become New York’s best-selling artist at the height of the art buying boom.
7 Midnight in Paris
Woody Allen comedy of 2011 Midnight in Paris History plays on, and Gilles Bender (Owen Wilson) is transported to Paris in 1920, where he meets some of his greatest heroes. The most memorable of these characters is surrealist painter Salvador Dali, played relentlessly by Adrien Brody. The actor embodies the hallucinatory personality of Dali, embracing his surreal philosophy to anyone who will listen. It doesn’t hurt that Brody is a dead ringer for the Spanish artist, too, as Gil realizes what historical figures he’s suddenly befriended. After Picasso’s fictional mistress Adriana (Marion Cotillard) takes Jill on a tour of Belle Epoque and 1920s Paris, the two discuss periods that only time travelers can.
6 Mr. Turner
JMW Turner is one of England’s most beloved painters, and he played in it Mr. Turner by Timothy Spall, who won Best Actor at Cannes for his role in Mike Leigh. The film reveals Turner’s late painting, when the artist descends into existential melancholy and softens his brushstrokes. During this period Turner anticipates movements such as Expressionism with tremendously pioneering work that still fits within the limits of his aristocratic patronage. Spall encompasses all the tense, uptight air of the late painter, who used the people around him for his own ends.
5 At the gate of eternity
Willem Dafoe plays the painter Vincent Van Gogh At the gate of eternity, a speculative film also directed by the painter Julian Schnabel that reflects on Van Gogh’s descent into madness. The film examines Van Gogh’s relationship with his brother, the art dealer Theo (Rupert Friend), and the locals in Arles, France, as the painter begins his hallucinatory phase painting landscapes, creating his greatest work while experiencing the greatest hardships, including the removal of his painting. Special permission. The movie is quiet, but still gets strong performances from Dafoe and Oscar Isaac as Paul Gauguin, Van Gogh’s friend and sometimes foe.
stolen is the complex story of the most significant art theft in history, in which Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum was stripped of some priceless Vermeers and Rembrandts, some of them slashed from their frames. The museums’ incredibly low-level security hasn’t helped, but tracking down some of history’s most important artworks becomes a task for conservationists and investigators, as links to organized crime and the Irish Republican Army are quickly alleged. The filmmakers close in on those with specific information on the locations of the paintings and why they were stolen, as the Gardner Museum grapples with their loss, leaving the paintings as blank frames on the walls to reflect their absence.
3 Vincent and Theo
Tim Roth continued his streak of amazing films in the ’90s with Vincent and Theo, a look at the artist’s time in Arles, France as his relationship with his brother Theo (Paul Rhys) falls apart due to the artist’s mental illness. Robert Altman directed the film, a rare departure from his other set-based films. The film was originally produced as a four-hour miniseries for television, but received a new cut for US distribution in theaters. The film pays off the artist’s credibility by being Altman’s most poetic and imaginative, and less concerned with dialogue than atmosphere.
Ed Harris played controversial abstract expressionist artist Jackson Pollock in the film Pollock, which traced the artist’s development of the drip painting technique, his stormy marriage to Lee Krasner (Marcia Gay Harden) and his affairs with millionaire Peggy Guggenheim. “Jack the Dripper” was a notorious drinker and had such a strong connection with his artwork that it often alienated those around him. Harris lends pressure to a man with a precarious life who is suddenly splashed on the cover of Time magazine, declared the greatest American star in avant-garde painting.
1 F is fake
F is fake is a docudrama that could only have originated in the mind of Orson Welles, the bombastic director who, in his later years, tackled projects such as this satirical film about Elmer de Hory’s career as the world’s most famous art forger. Indeed, Welles doubles down on the nature of de Hory’s work, which took creative license with the painter’s story.
Welles uses his commanding Mid-Atlantic narrative to blur the line between what’s legitimate and what’s not, just as de Hory finds his paintings hanging in the world’s most famous museums, with no one knowing they’re forgeries. No longer prosecutable for his crimes, Elmir cuts a proud character in the film, seemingly feeling his ability to copy the most famous artists as proof of his genius.