Top Ten Movies For Art Lovers

Lights, Camera, Art!
by Emmy Hirsch, guest blogger, edited by @schulmanArt

Midnight in Paris- doomed couple in Giverny

Art lovers, looking for an artsy film from netflix? Check out these critically acclaimed movies about artists that are sure to move, captivate, and inspire you!


1. Midnight in Paris
He’d like to live in Paris, she’d like to live in an upper-class American suburb. He drowns himself in words, she drowns herself in clothes. Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams star in Woody Allen’s romantic yet artsy comedy about a young engaged couple vacationing in Paris. Gil (Wilson) is a mediocre screenwriter who still harbors the dream of someday writing a successful novel and joining the prestige of acclaimed writers such as Hemingway and Fitzgerald. One night, he leaves his fiancée Inez (McAdams) to wonder off through the empty city streets, only find himself conversing with the legendary individuals of the 1920s. Art history buffs will love this movie as they meet artist luminaries from Paris such as Picasso, Matisse, Salvador Dali and then others when they travel further back in time such as Gauguin and Toulouse-Lautrec


detail of Vermeer painting

2. Girl With A Pearl Earring (2003)
Based on the novel by Tracy Chevalier, Girl With A Pearl Earring imagines the life of a maid in Johannes Vermeer’s household who  poses for the now internationally famous portrait wearing pearl earrings presumably borrowed from Vermeer’s wife. Art lovers will love this movie as they watch their favorite Vermeer masterpieces come to life on the big screen.

3. Goya’s Ghosts
The painter Goya becomes involved with the Spanish Inquisition when his muse, Inés, is arrested by the church for heresy. Francisco Goya, who is a gifted but controversial artist, the corrupted holy man Brother Lorenzo, and the beautiful woman Inés all cross paths in Milos Forman’s epic historical drama. Goya has earned the enmity of the Spanish government as well as the Catholic Church and embraces greater infamy when Lorenzo accuses his favorite model Inés as a heretic. Inés is sent to prison and when Lorenzo returns fifteen years later to attempt to liberate her, a shocking discovery awaits him.

Moulin Rouge in Paris

4. Moulin Rouge
The year is 1899 and Christian, a young English writer, has come to Paris to follow the Bohemian revolution taking hold of the city’s drug and prostitute infested underworld. The place to go, he quickly learns, is the legendary Moulin Rouge, a night club where men come for one and only one reason: to be entertained. The poet finds himself plunged into a deadly love affair with Satine, the club’s highest paid star and the city’s most famous courtesan. In this movie we meet Toulouse-Lautrec and his friends in this famous Parisian bohemian haunt.

5. Surviving Picasso

In 1943, the young painter Françoise Gilot meets Pablo Picasso, already the most celebrated artist in the world. For the next ten years, she acts as his mistress, bears him two children, and poses as his muse. She slowly learns that his past and present life are littered with other mistresses, and she must accept all these women and their offspring as part of her relationship with Picasso. But when Picasso begins yet another affair, Françoise realizes that, to save herself, she must leave him.

6. Modigliani
Amedeo Modigliani, an Italian Jew living in Paris in 1910, has yet to reach an audience beyond the city’s creative inner circle. When his lover and child are sent to a faraway convent by the force of the woman’s parents, Modigliana is distraught and must find a way to rescue his family. The answer arrives in the shape of Paris’s annual art competition, which the artist and his dearest friend and rival Pablo Picasso have never even thought about entering. Prize money and a guaranteed career await the winner, and so Modigliani tackles the canvas in hopes to create a masterpiece, knowing that all of the Parisian artists are doing the same.

7. Frida
Chronicling the life of Frida Kahlo and Diego River, Frida, starring Salma Hayek gives insight into the biography of one of Mexico’s most prominent, iconoclastic painters. From the crippling effects of polio to a nearly fatal city bus accident to an illicit affair with Leon Trotsky to romantic entanglements with women, Frida Kahlo lives the unprecedented life as a political, artistic, and sexual revolutionary.

Camille Claudel in her workshop

8. Renoir
Set on the French Riviera in the summer of 1915, Jean Renoir, son of the Impressionist painter Pierre-Auguste, returns home after being wounded in World War One. He experiences a surge of vitality when he meets Andrée Heuschling, who rejuvenates, enchants, and inspires both father and son.

9. Camille Claudel
Sister of writer Paul Claudel, Camille Claudel impresses the famous sculptor Auguste Rodin. Isabelle Adjani’s film traces the development of their intense romantic bond, the growth of their relationship, and the conflict between Rodin’s stardom and fancy for other women and Claudel’s up-and-coming career and emotional tumult. Fall in love with the sculpture of this often overlooked woman artist.

Emmy Hirsch is an intern for SchulmanArt and will be an incoming freshman at Franklin and Marshall College in the fall of 2013.

10. Vincent and Theo
Director Robert Altman’s well-received biography documents the relationship between the obsessive yet brilliant painter Vincent van Gogh and his more practical brother Theo. Van Gogh’s works were ignored during his lifetime, despite the efforts of Theo, a struggling gallery owner. When Theo fails to make a profit from his brother’s work, he finds himself torn between family and prosperity, genius and madness.

Have you seen any of these movies? What kind of art movies do you like?


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I’m Miriam Schulman, your curator of inspiration.

I inspire art-lovers to reconnect with their creativity and profit from their art. Whether you paint simply for the joy of it or you’re serious about selling your work, and you’re ready to stop putting yourself on the back burner...You're in the right place. I've done it and I can inspire YOU how to do it too.

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