If the relationship between cinema and music has always been flaunted, the implication of painting in cinema turns out to be subtler. Cinema and Painting sheds light on a tendency unjustly ignored through eight glaring examples.
For every film Angela Dalle Vacche offers an almost surgical detailed study of the plans inspired by works of art, not hesitating to put them into their artistic context and then into the cinematic context. The author first brings the artistic period into focus, then compares the "film copy" with the original. Beyond simple comparison, she decodes the artistic implication by highlighting the symbolism of the work and what it means in the narrative of the film. She then offers the reader keys to the interpretation of certain films.
The book consists of eight chapters, each dedicated to a particular film: An American in Paris by Vincent Minelli, Red Desert by Michelangelo Antonioni, The Marquise of O by Eric Rohmer, Pierrot le Fou by Jean-Luc Godard, Andrei Rublev by Andrei Tarkovski, Nosferatu by F.W. Murnau, Five Women around Utamaro and Thérèse by Alain Cavalier. Each of them illustrates a different relationship between art and cinema, whether by a purely aesthetic or symbolic point of view.
Far from being read once, Cinema and Painting is an excellent reference book to enjoyably dive into after viewing one of these films.