Filmmakers Stealing From Painters: 20 Examples of Films That “Remixed” a Painting
Filmmakers Stealing From Painters
No Art is an Island, films included. When you work on a film you come up with references for your team to work toward the same goal. (If you’d like a practical example, see how Todd Haynes went on researching for Carol’s mood board.)
The difference between stealing and remixing comes from two factors: the change of medium and Time. If you are a painter influenced by another painter who is still alive and actively producing, chances are you’re not bringing much to the table.
In a time where due credits vs. influences collide all the time, it’s a topic that is worth talking about. Kirby Ferguson has done a whole series about the remix concept, aptly named Everything Is a Remix.
In this line, video essayist Tony Zhou (via Austin Kleon who took it from Jason Kottke who took it from a chat between Zhou and Anil Dash) talks about how he didn’t invented anything for his widely popular video essays, but borrowed from masters.
“My advice to people has always been: copy old shit. For instance, the style of Every Frame a Painting is NOT original at all. I am blatantly ripping off two sources: the editing style of F for Fake, and the critical work of David Bordwell/Kristin Thompson, who wrote the introductory text on filmmaking called Film Art. I’ve run into quite a few video essays that are trying to be “like Every Frame a Painting” and I always tell people, please don’t do that because I’m ripping of someone else. You should go to the source. When any art form or medium becomes primarily about people imitating the dominant form, we get stifling art. If you look at all of the great filmmakers, they’re all ripping someone off but it was someone 50 years ago. It rejuvenated the field to be reminded of the history of our medium.
Comes Vugar Efendi, a filmmaker with a passion for art who did two videos showing scenes from films where at least one frame was a clear reference to a painting. In the second video, Efendi added the dates the paintings and the films were done, which is also interesting, the time difference spanning from as short as 20 years to 300 years.
Check all the visuals below but make sure to watch the video, it’s precious to see how a still “frame” (a painting) morphs into a moving narrative with camera movements, lights etc.