Friday, March 8, 2019

Picture Still A Bit Blurry --- Days 359 and 360

Walk: Day 1: Home doing Spring Wardrobe Closet Caper  Day 2: Clay Theater (Never Look Away)
Distance:  1. 8 blocks  2. 3.5 miles, small yoga

What can Ciwt say about the movie Never Look Away?  Well,  at 3 hours, fifteen minutes, it's a long one.  And because Ciwt is interested in art and artists she found it an interesting study of the creative development of one of the current world's most well known, talented and expensive artists.

The movie is based on the life events of Gerhard Richter.  Our SFMOMA has an extensive collection of his works, and Richter is/was personally befriended, beloved and collected by both the art-powerful Fisher and Schwab families.  Ciwt herself has led tours of Richter's paintings and described his art and life story and relationship to Bay Area collectors numerous times.  But, even as she explained, a part of her could never fully grasp why this painting virtuoso continually changes subject matter and forms - being a Vermeer look alike one moment, a wildly colorful abstract artist the next, then settling for a moment into color chart studies before moving to paintings of blurred photographs. There are more styles, but you get the picture.  The wonder is that Richter is a complete master of each and every style he explores; he truly is a painting genius.

So it felt vaguely comforting to Ciwt to watch Never Look Away and finally 'see' this man, the making of his early paintings and the life she has been touring and explaining.  But it was also vaguely uncomfortable because this was no authorized bio; the characters have fictional names and the media shy Richter himself has said the writer/director "..has managed to abuse and grossly distort my biography."

For Ciwt Don't Look Away might have worked best as a total work of fiction so she didn't have to think about invading and melodramatizing Richter's privacy and very real biography.  Take away that, she liked the movie, thought it was well acted and absorbing, informative about art, beautifully shot and worth 3 hours and fifteen minutes of the time of movie buffs who are interested in the artistic process and one artist's (partially fictionalized) life.

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