Friday Night at the Movies

Since moving into our new home, my husband and I have designated Friday as our “dinner and a movie” date night. We’ve always had our Friday night date nights, although we’ve never gone anywhere. It was just our own little way of appreciating each other, always re-kindling the excitement of being in love, and not needing to dress up, go out, and spend money to show it. We’re kinda weird that way, I guess.

Now, however, we do have a place to go on our Friday night dates — downstairs to our “entertainment area”. After having our dinner, we make popcorn together (the old-fashioned way, on the stove) then head to our private theatre. It’s nothing fancy. Just a normal-sized flat-screen TV, a comfortable couch, and Coca-Cola in the mini-fridge nearby. Goes great with our popcorn.

We’ve seen some good movies. I recently read The Island of Dr. Moreau, by H. G. Wells, so we watched the 1996 film version with Marlon Brandon. Another week, after a lot of bird-watching in our backyard, we enjoyed The Big Year with Jack Black, Steve Martin, and Owen Wilson.

The following week we watched Rocketman about Sir Elton John, and one of my favorites was the latest from director Clint Eastwood, Richard Jewell about the security guard falsely accused of planting a bomb at the 1996 Summer Olympics Games.

Although I’ve “become an artist” only in recent years, I’ve always had an interest in art, art history, and famous artists. I’ve seen a number of films about artists.  Here are a few I’ve seen:

FootMy Left Foot (1989) tells the story of Christy Brown, an Irish painter and writer who had cerebral palsy and could only use the toes of his left foot to create his work.

You can learn more about his life and see more of his works here.

Vincent Van Gogh has been the subject of many movies — from dramas, to documentaries, to comedies, including one of my favorites:

Starry Night (1999)

It’s silly, and it’s a bit sad at the end, but it’s a great movie when you’re in the mood for mindless fun. A magic potion brings Vincent back to life. He is amazed to discover he’s famous, and he sets about collecting his paintings — with an art detective hot on his heels.

Pollock (2000)

Jackson Pollock is one of my favorite artists, and I’m glad I watched this film. If you haven’t seen it, and if you have any interest in Pollock, I highly recommend this movie. I do so, however, with a disclaimer. While it’s an excellent film, in my humble opinion, it’s nerve-wracking to watch. Ed Harris is phenomenal in his portrayal of Pollock. I loved the film for its realism, but I could never watch it again. It was too emotional, too draining.

Who the #$&% Is Jackson Pollock? (2006)

This one goes down as one of my all-time favorite films. It’s a documentary about a woman, Teri Horton, who bought a $5.00 painting in a thrift shop and later came to believe it was an original Jackson Pollock painting. Watching this gives an interesting glimpse of the elitist art dealership world and the meaning of provenance. As one reporter wrote, “It became, really, a story about class in America. It’s a story of the art world looking down its collective nose at this woman with an eighth-grade education.”
Snobbery, anybody?

I have a special fondness for documentaries, and while I don’t plan to subject my husband to this film, I’m eagerly looking forward to watching this video about another of my favorite artists.

Edward Hopper and the Blank Canvas

 

There are many, many more films about artists. Here’s a list I compiled of both old ones and newer ones. There are many I’d love to see.

Lust for Life

The Agony and the Ecstasy

Basquiat

Frida

Edvard Munch

The Mystery of Picasso

Mr. Turner

Loving Vincent

Vincent and Theo

The Eyes of Van Gogh

At Eternity’s Gate

The Wolf at the Door

I could go on and on, but these films are enough to get me started on a lot of fascinating film-watching.

As for our dinner and movie date tonight, well, it’s summer, and I’ve been re-reading Treasure Island. Tonight we’ll be watching a film version and enjoying big bowls of popcorn cooked the old-fashioned way. I’ve read that the ending in the film goes in a different direction from the book… oh, well, call it artistic license, I suppose. I’m still going to enjoy our date night.

Happy Friday!

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