Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Lately I’ve been thinking about art, wondering how it’s created and evolves. My recent favorite watches have been a French film, “Portrait of a Woman on Fire”, released last fall and very popular. The other a British sitcom that first aired thirty years ago and now is streaming, it’s the series “Absolutely Fabulous”, an international success throughout its six seasons and afterwards as re-runs for many years.

Great art is easy to recognize, lets viewers take away their own ideas about what makes works effective and their possible meanings. I enjoy allowing my brain to go into its own creative places, come up with ideas and expand them. It’s a joyous experience with appropriate stimulation for this, from a book, movie, or something that’s spontaneous on the street.

Regarding “Portrait” and “Ab Fab”, I’ve gone beyond my own mind and imagination by listening to the creators of these works. There’s easy learning about filmwork creation from Celine Sciamma who wrote and directed “Portrait”. She has in-depth answers during numerous interviews on YouTube about her films, especially this one. She explains how she selected and worked with actors, and why her directing style is to corregraph everything in a scene–from positions and movements to in-and-out breathing. She speaks to her work as an entire course about creating and comprehending meanings in film.

Oddly, differently and yet similarly, the writer of “Ab Fab”, Jennifer Saunders, explains her work addressing the funny, perplexing issues of daily living. Her skits focus on personal struggles associated to one’s goals and interpersonal relationships. Her situations are creative funnies, as pratfalls, alter-ego conflicts, mother-daughter issues, ex-husband and alimony disappointments, women-owned businesses and women as competitors, and a long-missing adult son who refuses any contact with his mother.

These artworks offer entirely different experiences regardless of a viewer’s gender. One work is visually beautiful, intellectually enthralling, and even mind-bending. The other is a laugh-out-loud comedy, compelling and identifiable as the “inners of us all”. Each has the qualities of construction and depth that touch people deeply. Each forces us to respond to the art and to its purposes. They make us think and feel–or maybe the other way around, make us feel and then think.

Dear Friends: There’s much to learn about the complex, absolutely fascinating topic of art. Diana

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