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Julian Schnabel: I make no distinction between my art and my life

a Little disappointed is I enough still that he doesn't have sidenpyjamasen, Julian Schnabel. Not the glasses gultintade either. Just ordinary glass of the usual black hornbågar. Hair is long, his beard trimmed and he is dressed in träningsbrallor and a black hoodies that carries the print of his own painting ”Big girl”.

Yet he is one hundred percent recognizable. Konstikonen from New York who got a mastodontgenombrott at exactly the same time as the painting became a miljondollarbusiness in the eighties. Then, when all the freshly baked yuppies suddenly wanted to pay huge sums for the huge paintings that hang in their minimally furnished, - storey loft. It was such a yuppie, with the associated art dealers, such as Max von Sydow chased out through the door while he shouted: ”I don't sell work by the yard” in Woody Allen's ”Hannah and her sisters”.

Now he sits here at the Grand hotel to talk about his new, visually and sonically innovative film ”Vincent van Gogh – at eternity's gate”.

" Who needs a film about Vincent van Gogh? he asks rhetorically.

the Film was well received in Venice in the autumn, and Willem Dafoe has been praised and hailed for its ecstatic interpretation of the mythical, Dutch painter. But it was hard inside to do it.

" I didn't want to, but I was drawn into it anyway. Inevitable as at a traffic accident.

" I think I had a need to explain what the painting is. There are so many misunderstandings about it. Not that it is deliberate or ill-planned. Films of Vincente Minnellis and Robert altman's is fine but no one has got the thing with the painting itself!

Willem Dafoe in ”the Vincent van Gogh at eternity's gate”. Photo: Scanbox

than others to tell us about the artists? It is in all cases the Schnabel has been known in the world of film. He shifted into regibanan at the end of the nineties, with ”Basquiat”, an inspired little depiction of åttiotalets of the art scene in Manhattan. Then followed the intense ”Before night falls” about the cuban writer Reynaldo Almeira, the public and the breakthrough ”the Butterfly in the glass globe”, about the French Vogueredaktören Jean-Dominique Bauby, who after a stroke, could only communicate by blinking with an eye and wrote a novel on the way.

And now he dared to with the to a large extent subjective camera to recreate the hallucinatory splendor of the world's most reproduced artist saw for his inner eye while he fought against the mental illness.

Schnabels monstrous, economic success as a graphic artist, his comfortable bohemliv with famous acquaintances in the very far from k-tagged palaces he has built for himself atop a warehouse in the West Village, has sometimes been in the keg. He is a significant artist or a decorator and poser? You can become so rich in art and be ”authentic”? It happens, "he says," that people are questioning if a successful artist even can understand an artist who died penniless, without having being recognized.

" But van Gogh was a nobody, a failed artist! When he wanders through the countryside in Arles, and happily settles on a field, and rub the soil in your eyes is there a man in the right place at the right time. Sure, life may not be a dance on roses, but if you paint the seventy-five paintings in eighty days and painting is what you live for so it goes pretty good.

" That is why I do not believe he killed himself. He ordered the color just a few days before. It does not want to die.

Willem Dafoe: ”To paint like van Gogh was scary as hell.”

inspired by Steven Naifehs and Gregory White Smith's book ”van Gogh: The life”, where they are pushing the controversial and not very accepted theory that van Gogh, in fact, was shot during a brawl with some tonårskillar. In a bold and beautiful clips towards the end are moved directly from a sunny scene with doctor Paul Gachet (Mathieu Amalric) to a wounded Vincent van Gogh, who are reeling forward on a road. It is undeniably becoming more evocative as film, and Schnabel want to mix fiction and reality.

" My point is that it doesn't matter if he killed himself or not. I just don't think about all the clichés, when man creates myths around the madness and misfortune... My opinion is that he was very clear in the brain when he painted. And I want to portray the clarity and beauty of his work with painting.

”The beauty is there, in Arles, but I've been working with light that does not exist also”, says Julian Schnabel. Photo: Scanbox

is undoubtedly a brave film. Intuitively, filmed and cut with the long sequences when the artist wanders off, looking for its subject, blends with the nature around him. As usual in his films is the music and sound design is almost a character in itself. But above all, it is something of a koloristiskt wonders. Nature is never only green, blue and brown with some flowers in, as it usually becomes in the depictions of the scenic areas. The colors vibrate.

– The beauty is there, in Arles, but I have worked with lights that do not also exist. As van Gogh said: the Colors in my painting does not come from reality, they come from my palette. And I have used my.

Willem Dafoe was the given the protagonist, despite the fact that he is almost thirty years older than van Gogh was at his death.

– Willem manages to somehow dissolve themselves and then materialize again, so that you just get this intense feeling as well as fill the air. I think he was in search of something invisible within himself that he went straight in and was transfigured... his van Gogh is a continuation of his role as Christ jesus (in Martin Scorsese's ”the last temptation of Christ” (1988). This is the follow-up.

Julian Schnabel does not say ”I” very often. He says ”we” and ”our movie”. Both his lifestyle and his way of working is collective, inclusive, generous. His position and close friendship with today's foremost musicians, actors, authors and artists make the he always get the actor he wants and got it already to the first film where David Bowie, Dennis Hopper, Christopher Walken, Courtney Love, several played big roles.

Now it is also his reputation as personinstruktör which makes that actors are drawn to him. Javier Bardem got his international breakthrough in ”Before night falls”. Max von Sydow made one of their most beautiful scenes ever in ”the Butterfly and the glass globe”. In the Van Gogh movie, he works for the first time with Mads Mikkelsen, which he geniförklarar.

But perhaps there is another reason that he understands acting. As actionmålare he is himself a very physical artist, and understand the aspect better than many directors.

" I do not see the actor as the paint tubes. They know that they can look inward. They need not worry that they have to defend themselves against their director.

" We are in the same situation. You have to do something. And you don't know exactly what it is you are doing while you do it but you do it anyway. It is the key.

his ”we” not only of the ensemble but, perhaps most importantly, if the unexpected close cooperation he has had with his partner, the Swedish interior designer Louise Kugelberg. She has affected both script work and recording and been decisive at the cutting.

– When the mower would have cut the film well became available had Louise and I have come so far that it was not going to back down. Juliette Welfling, who did a fantastic job with ”the Butterfly and the glass globe”, wanted to remove the scenes which for us was vital. When we did not follow her advice, she said that we were about to make a movie about van Gogh that would be seen by three people.

– Then it may be so, " I said. Louise is one of the few I have been able to turn to when I are so ”far out” that I need an external eye. Then I say to her on the skarpen to really look and she says always what she sees.

When I ask if it is not can upset the concentration to have his partner with him in the work he does not see out to understand the question. And he does not like to be disturbed by much at all. Secondly, it is not the different roles he plays, as a partner, father, or artist.

" I make no distinction between my art and my life.

Julian Schnabel Oscarsnominerades for best director for ”the Butterfly in the glass globe” in 2008. On the picture, Mathieu Amalric and ms Marie-josée Croze. Photo: Photo Credit: Etienne George.

movie review: ”At eternity's gate” makes the poetic reality of van Gogh's hard life

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