Gorgeous Futurism, 125 Painters and A First-Ever Nominee
Artful moments abound in the films recognized at this year’s Oscars. Come see the highlights you might have missed and feast your eyes on the visual effects and cinematic prowess of masterpieces of the big screen. Our picks will definitely recharge your creativity and just might inspire your next artwork.
But don’t stop at getting inspired. Walk all the way along the path of creativity by learning how to put your inspirations into practice with the video download of Painting Techniques of the Masters with Mark Menendez.
You’ll discover your inspirations are your greatest strength, but pairing them with award-worthy instruction is your most exciting prospect. It leads to the artworks you want to make — and in the style of the greats like Vincent van Gogh. Enjoy!
125 Painters Worldwide Unite
A six-year cinematic odyssey that involved 125 artists across the world coming together with two directors to make and film 65,000 painted frames is the incredible backstory of the first ever fully-painted animated film, Loving Vincent. Art lovers swoon because this biopic took actors, artists, stage sets and oil paints and literally brought Post-Impressionist master, Vincent van Gogh — and his art — to life.
Meet the painters behind this extraordinary project, brainchild of directors Dorota Kobiela, who is a painter herself, and Hugh Welchman.
Views Every Painter Will Love
Rachel Morrison is the first ever woman nominated for an Oscar in Best Cinematography. She earned it by bringing film audiences her eye for saturated color and subtle composition in the film Mudbound.
Her influences are near and dear to any artist’s heart and include the photography of Dorothea Lange and Walker Evans, and what Morrison calls “subjective naturalism.”
Land of the Dead Never Looked So Alive
Coco, the animated film from Disney-Pixar, follows 12-year-old Miguel Rivera as he strums the strings of his guitar and opens a door to the Land of the Dead. The underworld with its marigold bridge and blinking, kaleidoscope colors is, visually speaking, the movie’s claim to artistic fame. That, along with making ancestor skeletons look appealing. The movie won the 2018 Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film.
Drapery and Sets to Swoon Over
1950s fashion design comes to life in Phantom Thread, starring Daniel Day Lewis. It won the 2018 Oscars award for Best Costume Design. For painters who know that capturing in brushstrokes the drape of a dress is tantamount to magic, this movie will be a never-ending reference. The interior spaces shot are no slouches either, aka let’s paint some chandeliers!
The Power of Image and Everyday People
For the scope and impact of the documentary, Faces Places, we take it straight from the Oscars: Filmmaker Agnès Varda teams with photographer and muralist JR to travel the French countryside to meet local residents and produce giant photographic portraits of them.
Although they are separated in age by more than half a century, Varda and JR both revel in the power of images and in documenting the lives of everyday people.
A Virtuosic Second Take
The first Blade Runner was a cinematic tour de force. The visuals in Blade Runner 2049 are so alluring as to be almost mind-altering. The cinematography comes from living legend Roger Deakins and won the 2018 Oscars for both cinematography and visual effects. Which film’s visuals come out on top? To each her own.
Beauty in War
A World War II period piece and eight-time Oscar nominee and three-time Oscar winner for Best Film Editing, Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing, Dunkirk is light on dialogue and incredibly heavy on moving visuals. The photography is second to none as legions of fighting men are set against vast and inspiring sky-, land- and seascapes. Film buffs alert: Director Christopher Nolan shot movie was shot on 70mm film. No digital here.
Choose a Name
Almost comically sumptuous, set against the Italian landscape and meticulously arranged interiors, Call Me By Your Name has an art-history bent as the main characters are classicists exhuming Roman sculpture. Almost forgot to mention it’s a love story. The film also won the 2018 Oscar for Best Writing Adapted Screenplay.
More Artful Films
The Oscars aren’t the be-all-end-all of artful cinema. Here are a few more visually gorgeous films outside the Oscars to put on your viewing list:
Your Name — The anime megahit with razzle-dazzle animation.
A Quiet Passion — A biopic of Emily Dickinson with gorgeous interior photography that evokes the sumptuous 19th-century interiors captured by so many beloved painters.
A Ghost Story — An especially visual movie because the main character doesn’t talk for much of the film, pushing imagery to the fore by default. Funny, sad, poignant, and very weird in a cool way.
Article contributions by Austin Williams.