Seek out and Critique/Review a film/movie/video that deals with the subject of the visual arts.




Paper Assignment II:  Critique/Review a Film about an Artist or Art



For this assignment you will have to seek out a film/movie/video that deals with the subject of the visual arts.  It can be a film about the life of a real artist, living or dead, or it can be about some aspect of the visual arts – a particular movement or culture, etc.  It can be a “commercial” film or a documentary.  There have been several commercial films done based on the lives of famous and not so famous artists. I have listed some below.  It can also be a film that deals with a story about someone in the field of art.  (For example:  The Julia Roberts film about an Art History professor at Wellesley College in the 1950’s titled “Mona Lisa Smile”)  You can rent a video/DVD or check one out at one of the local libraries or a lot of these films are available on cable services such as Netflix, Hulu or On Demand or you can find a lot of them online.  You may also choose to view a documentary film about art. If you choose a documentary there is only one criterion:  It has to be about the visual Arts and it has to be at least 45 minutes long.

After you view the film write a 2 – 3 page critique of the film.  Briefly discuss what it was about; the plot, the main theme, overall message, etc.   Also critique it in terms of its “artistic” merits.  Did the cinematography enhance the story, what techniques were used to convey the story, were the actors believable, etc?  Then discuss what you learned from the film.  If it is a story about a particular artist for example you might talk about if the film helped you understand the artists work better, or how did the film makers incorporate the artist’s work into the film, where the artist got their inspiration, what was their art about, etc.?

Below is a list of some the commercial films about artists that you can find at most video rental places/and or some libraries.  I have several of these films in my collection so I’m happy to loan them out if you can’t locate something.  Obviously I can’t loan something to everyone.  Below is a list of possible commercial films for you to review:


  • “Mona Lisa Smile” • “Girl with a Pearl Earring”
  • “Artemisia” (Foreign Film/Subtitled) • “Love is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of
  • “Surviving Picasso” (w/Anthony Hopkins) Francis Bacon”
  • “Frida” • “Lust for Life” (Van Gogh/ w/Kirk
  • “Goya in Bordeaux” (Foreign Film/Subtitled) Douglas)
  • “The Agony and the Ecstasy” (Michelangelo) • “ Vincent and Theo”
  • “Rembrandt” • “Pollock” (w/ Ed Harris)
  • “Camille Claudel” (Foreign Film/Subtitled) • “Crumb”
  • “Basquait” • “The Highwaymen: Florida’s Outsider
  • “Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision” Artists”
  • “Rivers and Tides” (Andy Goldsworthy) • “My Architect: A Son’s Journey”
  • “Exit Through the Gift Shop” • “Jean Micel Basquiat: The Radiant Child”
  • “The Art of the Steal” (Documentary about the • “Who the #$&% is Jackson Pollock”

Barnes Collection – NOT the Kurt Russell film)



  • “The Rape of Europa” • “Klimt” ( w/ John Malcovich)
  • “Little Ashes” (w/ Robert Pattinson as Salvador Dali) • “Modigliani” (w/ Andy Garcia)
  • “Seraphine” • “How to Draw a Bunny”
  • “Turner” • “My Left Foot”
  • “Renoir” • “Seraphine”
  • “Painted Fire” • La Belle Noiseuse”
  • “Waiting for Hockney” • “In the Realms of the Unreal”
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