April 15, 2014

Identifying art history references in cinema can be an exhilarating pursuit. I’m sourcing material for a lecture exploring art in films and how films influence visual artists.  This will be the third part in the Synchronicities: Art & Cinema presentation series.

Over the weekend I watched Lars von Trier’s 2011 apocalyptic psychodrama Melancholia. The movie poster for this film was the hook. Kristen Dunst as Ophelia–specifically John Everett Millais’s version. This mid-nineteenth century painting is recreated by von Trier in the opening dream sequence and later referenced along with other historical works illustrated in art monographs. Most were immediately recognizable (Malevich, Caravaggio, Millais, Bruegel) while others took a few days to put a name to the image (Hill, Blake).

Here’s a clip of the bookshelf episode from the movie along with freeze frames, artists, titles and dates of the works. Enjoy!