Do movies such as ‘Girl with a pearl earring’ inspire the desire to paint or study art history?



Fig.1. Images of the portrait ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ by Vermeer and stills from the film of the same name directed by Peter Webber

E–learning supposes that it is online and interactive, this doesn’t prevent the use of narrative.

If I watch the film, Girl with a pearl earring’ then a BBC 4 Documentary in Johannes Vermeer and I go online to interact with fellow viewers, undertake research and write a blog entry or two – this is interaction; it engages me.

Not that any learning institution has the funding to produce a movie that cost many millions. I wonder though how an executive producer might exploit the assets in this movie, certain scenes or still images.


Fig. 2. Girl with a pearl earring by Johannes Vermeer (1665-1667)

I like to paint and draw so the way the film demonstrates the skills of painting fascinates me, in this film, shot with the eye of a Dutch Master we get some key moments because of the way the  director shot the film, from first inspiration, to the first presentation, the first layers and the art of mixing paints.

On this score which films do I rate as showing the artist’s craft and which do not?

Titanic. Kate Winslet – Drawn by the director James Cameron. What do you make of it?

La Belle Noisseuse. Emmannuelle Beart – Brilliant

Stealing Beauty. Liv Tyler – OK? Or exploitative

There are many, many others. I’ll add to this list and fix any inaccuracies as I go along.

Please do offer your suggestions.

Back to the use of narrative, a story well told, that is memorable, relevant and inspirational. This takes craft skills that producers (production managers) and clients (sponsors) need to be reminded cost a good deal to get right. It matters that the words spoken ring true, that characters are cast with imagination, that the direction is subtle and professional. Even with a photostory scripting requires care if it is to appear authentic, and we must remember, as shown in ‘Girl with a pearl earring’ that we communicate a great deal through facial expression and body language rather than by what we say.

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