The Sunday Read

The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965)

Director Carol Reed will always be remembered for The Third Man but his portentous and slow and very sexless, sanitized version of this particular chapter in the life of an artist who continues to inspire awe and amazement in those bitten with the artistic bug is not his finest moment. Props though to the art department who, not permitted to film the actual Sistine ceiling, recreated it on a sound stage at the Cinecitta studios.

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Art Films: An Introduction

Staid, socially functional, artists are of no use to filmmakers – you’re far more likely to see a Wayne Barker biopic than you might a film about William Kentridge any time soon. Dionysian impulses and antisocial behaviour are what will get your artistic biography the seventh art treatment – audiences want to see you drinking yourself into a stupor at 11am surrounded by empty wine bottles and unpaid rent bills rather than calmly sipping tea in Constantia contemplating your next still life with cosmos.

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