Art Film Season

As you probably know Buxton Film (not to be confused with Buxton Cinema) has been screening films in a number of venues around the town for 10 years. Buxton Film has also run Film Festivals and other special events. While we are happy to be able to screen once a week at the Arts Centre (pandemic allowing!) we also keen to explore other venues and different contexts.
We have had some discussions with the Green Man Gallery about a season of films to be screened next autumn and winter. The idea we have is to screen films about specific artists and perhaps organise workshops inspired by the films to run in parallel with the screenings. We might screen twice monthly in October, November, January and February making 8 screenings in all.We have a decent portable cinema setup with a 3m screen. We reckon that we could comfortably accommodate an audience of 40 in the ground floor of the Gallery. We have has applied for funding to help support this event from our regional BFI supported film hub. We are thinking of screening on Sunday night – perhaps from 6pm. This will allow time for a bit of a chat before or after the film and to finish by, say, 10pm at the very latest.
Buxton Film produces notes for its screenings and we would look to share short essays about the films and the artists.
At this stage we should like to see who wants to be a part of this project – there is no need to commit to the whole season of 8 films. There might be just one artist that interests you. We would like people to help:

  • decide on a programme of films
  • research and write essays/notes
  • develop and/or run workshops.

Below is a long list of 32 films representing nearly 30 artists. Van Gogh and Modigliani turn up more than once. In historical terms the list covers about 600 years of art history including painters, sculptors, photographers and those working in natural environments. Artists from Europe, North America, Mexico and Japan are represented. We hope that the final programme will be similarly wide ranging. We have copies of about 12 of these films if you would to preview them.
What we would like you to do now – if you are interested – is:

  • let us know if you want to be part of this at all
  • let us know which of the films on the long list you would like to see in the programme (no more than 8 please, but fewer is OK)
  • let us know if you would be interested in being part of the workshop events

Please feel free to share this with anyone who you think might be interested – the more the merrier. We hope we’ve covered most things here but do get in touch if you have any questions.

 Film Title (relevant period)NotesIMDB and Rotten Tomato scores
1Caravaggio (1986) [93 min] (1571-1610)Low budget Derek Jarman Film with Tilda Swinton, Sean Bean and Robbie Coltrane! Nigel Terry is Caravaggio who was active around the turn of 17th century. Regarded as something of the father of modern art so important. Much as we love Jarman has this film worn well? Might not be the easiest film to enjoy. We have it in the library to preview.6.6 IMDB 78% Rotten Tomatoes
2Penny Slinger: Out of the Shadows (2019) [98 min] (1947- )British born and still active in California. Described as feminist and mystic. Film is well-regarded. Certified 18 for scenes described as pornographic, unsimulated sex and masturbation. Available for preview on Prime.7.5 IMDB
3Pollock (2000) [122 min] (1912-1956)Critically well-received biopic with Ed Harris as Jackson Pollock. Can be previewed on Prime. Certified 18 for very strong language. DVD available.7.0 IMDB 81% RT
4Frida (2003) [123 min] (1907-1954)Well-received biopic of Frida Kahlo - married to Diego Rivera and lover of Trotsky. Salma Hayek is Kahlo and she is one of Harvey Weinstein’s accusers. Certified 15. Quite an enjoyable watch and raises questions about art as propaganda. Blu-ray available in Buxton Film Library.7.4 IMDB 75% RT
5Finding Vivian Maier (2013) [84 min] (1926-2009)Highly regarded documentary about American street photographer who worked secretly. I would have liked more about her photography and less about her mental health history. Buxton Film Library has a Blu-ray Disc.7.7 IMDB 95% RT
6Over Our Cities Grass Will Grow (2010) [105 min] (1945- )A documentary about the artist Anselm Kiefer and a huge installation created in a disused French factory. Bradshaw liked it. There is much to admire about the industrial scale of the art and its production. Interview with Kiefer midway through the film will strike some as pretentious.Buxton Film Library has a Blu-ray Disc.7.1 IMDB 77% RT
7Renoir (2013) [112 min] (1841-1919)French biopic focuses on the artists final years. People seem to like the look of it. DVD available.6.5 IMDB 72% RT
8Mr Turner (2014) [150 min] (1775-1851)We know all about Tim Spall’s turn in this Mike Leigh Film. We got over 200 in the last time we showed it. In the library.6.8 IMDB 97% RT
9Camille Claudel (1988) [175 min] (1864-1943)Claudel was Rodin’s apprentice, muse and lover. Isabelle Adjani as Claudel and Depardieu as Rodin. Sounds unmissable. There’s something of a theme here about women artists who didn’t get recognition in their lifetime. We have a DVD for anyone who wants to see it.7.3 IMDB 100% RT
10Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010) [87 min] (1966- )A documentary film made by Banksy about a French immigrant photographer - Thierry Guetta - working in LA. Or is it just a Banksy prank? Plenty of people love it. Blu-ray available.8.0 IMDB 96% RT
11Ai Weiwei - Never Sorry (2012) [91 min] (1957- )Much-lauded documentary about the Chinese activist/artist. Includes installations in Munich and the Tate Modern. DVD available.7.6 IMDB 98% RT
12Crumb (1994) [120 min]Am enjoyable documentary about the American cartoonist (Fritz the Cat etc). Certified 18 (for language and pornographic cartoons I think). Might be a bit of a rarity.8.0 IMDB 95% RT
13Edvard Munch (1974) [174 min] (1863-1944)Ingmar Bergman thought very highly of this Peter Watkins’ documentary. The full version is 211 minutes long. Blu-ray available.8.3 IMDB
14Love Is The Devil (1998) [91 min] (1909-1992)Frances Bacon biopic with Derek Jacobi. Plus Daniel Craig and Tilda Swinton. Cert 18 for sex scenes (S&M). We have the Blu-Ray. Includes lots of extras. BFI licence - which makes it cheap to screen.6.5 IMDB
15Basquiat (1996) [108 min] (1960-1988)Biopic of black, New York artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. A contemporary of Andy Warhol (played very well by David Bowie here). A good soundtrack! DVD available.6.9 IMDb 68% RT
16Seraphine (2008) [125 min] (1864-1942)We showed this in the Pauper’s Pit a few years back. Charming French film based on the life of the painter Seraphine de Senlis, who died in a mental institution in 1942. Her style and materials is well illustrated in the film and it would lend itself to a good workshop. We have the DVD in the library.7.4 IMDb 88%RT
17Vincent and Theo (1990) [140 min] (1853-1890)We could have a whole season just on Van Gogh! This one is directed by Robert Altman and focuses on Vincent and his brother and advocate. Highly regarded at the time. Blu-ray available.6.9 IMDb 88% RT
18Final Portrait (2017) [90 min] (1901-1966)Biopic of sculptor Alberto Giacometti (Geoffrey Rush). If we want a film about a sculptor it’s probably either this or Camille Claudel. Blu-ray available.6.3 IMDb 73% RT
19Faces, Places (2017) [89 min] (1928-2019)An Agnes Varda favourite which we screened not so long ago. About her collaboration with the photographer JR. Totally lovely. In the library.7.9 IMDb 99% RT
20Modigliani (2004) [128 min] (1884-1920)Amedeo Modigliani was a contemporary of Picasso and something of a rival (according to the film). Not well received at the time but we have it in the library if anyone wants to check it out.7.4 IMDb 4% RT
21Montparnasse 19 (1958) [108 min]Might be a better bet if it’s Modigliani we are after. Depicts the artist’s last year and death. Good French cast. Blu-ray available to borrow if you want to see it.7.4 IMDb
22Kusama - Infinity (2018) [80 min] (1929- )A Dogwoof documentary about the Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama who is hugely popular and successful. Good workshop potential. DVD available.7.3 IMDb 93% RT
23What remains: the life and work of Sally Mann (2005) [80 min] (1951- )Documentary about American photographer. May be hard to get.7.8 IMDb 91% RT
24Maudie (2016) [116 min] (1903-1970)Biopic with Sally Hawkins and Ethan Hawke. About folk artist Maud Lewis who loved and worked in Nova Scotia. Eminently workshoppable. We have a DVD.7.6 IMDb 89% RT
25Girl With A Pearl Earring (2003) [100 min] (1632-1675)With Colin Firth (Vermeer) and Scarlett Johansson (‘the Girl’) this has a lot going for it. Critical success. Blu-Ray available.6.9 IMDb 72% RT
26Lust For Life (1956) [124 min]With Kirk Douglas as Van Gogh! Well received at the time. Blu-Ray available.7.4 IMDb 100% RT
27The Agony and The Ecstasy (1965) [138 min] (1475-1564)With Charlton Heston as Michelangelo painting the Sistine Chapel! Might seem a bit dated. Blu-ray available.7.2 IMDb 86% RT
28The Mill and The Cross (2011) [92 min] (1525-1569)A Polish Film about Brueghel. Yes please! A great film and one we should show sometime. I have a Blu-ray. (Ignore the IMDb score - this is an 8.0+ film!)6.9 IMDb 79% RT
29Loving Vincent (2017) [94 min]Another Van Gogh and one that went down very well when we screened it in the PAC. A labour of love which tells part of Vincent’s story using thousands of hand painted frames to create the most painterly animation. We have this in our Library.7.8 IMDb 85% RT
30Artemisia (1997) [98 min] (1593-1656)An exhibition of the work of Artemisia Gentileschi was scheduled for London later this year. This biopic is said to be a bit sensationalist and focuses on her sex life rather than her art. If so a bit of a shame.6.6 IMDb 67% RT
31Big Eyes (2014) [106 min] (1927- )Margaret Keane was a hugely successful artist in the 1950s, so much so that her husband thought it worth trying to get the credit (and the money).7.0 IMDb 72% RT
32Georgia O’Keefe (2009) [89 min] (1887-1986)A straightforward and well made TV biopic about O’Keefe’s art and (seemingly inevitably) her love life.6.5 IMDb 44% RT

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published.