The Moving Picture - Ben McGuire

This gallery consists of paintings that have cinematic qualities. This includes pieces that use movement, organic texture and lines, and facial expressions and mood to tell a story. Each painting's style may have inspired (whether consciously or subconsciously) directorial styles.

This painting, by Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn, is a depiction of the Roman myth of Jupiter turning into a white bull in order to seduce and abduct the princess Europa. Rembrandt expertly uses motion and facial expression to tell the story of a hysterical and anxious moment. The characters of Europa and her friends are frantic through their scared and shocked faces, and the intense motion of the bulls legs and hands in the air of her friend shows a high action and dramatic moment. Many directors use this type of frame, showing the setting, the reactions of the characters and the action, all in one frame.
This painting by PS Kroyer is a beautiful and epic shot of the people in his town. The motion of the intense fire bewilders the children, seen through their gaping faces and staring. The painting is explained to separate the middle class, artists, and children from the elite people of the town. This could be separated even further through the intense light in the middle of the scene and the cool, icy moon on the top right corner. This painting reminds me of a frame of Stanley Kubrick and Francis Ford Coppola, due to the symmetrical framing and cramming of people to fill up the space.
"Summer evening on Skagen's Beach" uses motion and feeling subtly. The quiet footsteps and the closeness of the women create a feeling of privacy and intimacy in the lonely beach. This frame reminds me of another Swedish artist, Ingmar Bergman. Bergman likes very intimate and serene feelings, much like this painting. He likes to frame moments like these exactly as so - extenuating the intimacy through negative space and a far shot. Also, I can almost here the sweet strings that Bergman used frequently in his films to add to the feeling
This painting is of Valenza Gradenigo before judges in a case of treason. Valencia's father, framed in the center, is in the dark side of the painting, while Valenza is framed in the light side, accompanied by her white dress and bright window shining sunlight through. This is a simple case of light vs dark, good vs evil.
This painting of a wedding is a beautiful, high detailed piece with a lot of moving parts. The piece shows the characters with intoxicating facial expressions, and you can feel the intoxication moving throughout the piece. The man with the great white beard, toasting, can almost be heard bellowing something. The man behind him is whispering something to him, and feels to me a little shady. Each character in the painting is unique in their movement and expression, and one could easily think up a different story for each character. This frame reminds me of The Godfather Part I, due to the natural framing and the spectrum of the cast of characters. You almost feel alive with the people in this painting, due to the soul of each character being brought to life.
This intense and violent depiction of "Hercules Feeding Diomedes to his Horses" is full of intense images. The wild expression of the gnashing horses, pleading man to Hercules, perhaps begging him to stop, adds to the madness. And Hercules, looking majestic and powerful as ever, static with his powerful stance. This frame creates a feeling of chaos, as each corner depicting a different emotion and contrast. This painting reminds me a lot of the movie 300. Not only is it a depiction of the same era in time, however, the intensity, action, and use of color of the painting creates the same feeling of epic power.
This comical depiction of a fight is both subtle and has a lot of moving parts. The two men "fighting" seems like a one-sided affair, the men looking on each have a different expression (the youngsters seeming amused, the older men looking shocked), and the old woman barely knowing what is going on. The simplicity and silliness of the painting makes me smile. I would be surprised if director Wes Anderson has not seen this painting, due to the simplistic yet symmetrical framing, and many moving parts that match his style.
While this painting is mostly static with very few moving parts, closer looks can show a story. The separation of the people all walking separate directions, and the industrial, bleak buildings can make you feel the loneliness and isolation of the town. This reminds me of Michelangelo Antonioni. The wide shot, letting the setting tell the story, reminds me more specifically of his film, Red Desert.
This gruesome painting of a World War II scene has a lot of dark feeling. The slow moving man with the cane in the middle of the frame says it all, as his frown and slow limp tells the story of depression. The black and white hues add to the scary scene, the crowd of slow moving people and the corpses which pile across the bottom of the painting remind me of old horror movie films.
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This user gallery has been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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