In Song For Marion’s previous article, we spoke about some great modern films that people should see. Now it is …
Much like films, paintings are only as good as the painter or artist that created it. The truly great artists though did more than just create good work. It goes much further than that.
The truly great artists of the world help move art forward and make it evolve into something new.
With that, let’s take a look at two of the most influential artists that the world has ever known.
Leonardo da Vinci
First on our list is Leonardo da Vinci. Of course, da Vinci has to be on the list. This man gave us such iconic paintings such as the Last Supper and even Mona Lisa which is still being talked and speculated about to this very day.
With da Vinci though, it was more than his paintings. It was who he was. For da Vinci, his whole life was sort of an art work. It just like the Renaissance man that also came from da Vinci. This man was a true genius who had so many great ideas in so many different fields.
He was able to create masterpieces in art, in engineering, and even in science. If you could view his life as something that all peoples can aspire to do and achieve, you can say his life was art itself.
Vincent Van Gogh
Vincent Van Gogh is so popular that Don McLean made an iconic song about him. However, why was he so popular?
The thing about Van Gogh was he was mentally unstable. People often remember how he cut off his own hear. Sometimes, that’s enough to become legendary.
Van Gogh saw the world a different way. Literally. He travelled the country in order to find new mediums and lights to show the world his points of view. He tried to make us understand what he saw. His paintings had trademark thick strokes with various colors bunched together.
One example is his famous painting Starry Night. At the time, no one had ever painted something in quite the same style with swirling colors blending together. It was almost maddening in its beauty.
There is tragedy behind Van Gogh’s popularity. See, he was a painter and a man outside of his time. In his own lifetime, no one would appreciate the art in his work. It was not until he died and many years later that his work was heralded as iconic pieces which would serve to inspire a whole generation.
The Song for Marion team urges you to go to a museum or a to your library and discover more of the influential artists that helped shape the world of art.
Art is important. Why is it important? There are a number of answers to this question.
For one, art conveys meaning, ideas, and emotion to people. It allows people to feel or see something they have never seen before (or perhaps see a certain object in a new light) that allows to question or think about something new.
Now money is not really a well-used metric when people talk about the importance of specific art works. However, sometimes, there are some art pieces that sell for millions of dollars. We think it is safe to say that in some cases, the money can certainly indicate the importance of a piece of art.
Here are two pieces of art with exorbitant prices that you wouldn’t believe.
Jackson Pollock’s No. 5
Jackson Pollock was a painter from America. He was a key figure in the abstract expressionist art movement. The style of painting where paint drips on the canvas is attributed to Pollock.
The first art piece on this list is a drip painting by Pollock actually. It is called No. 5, 1948. If you do see it, it is a jumble of colors and lines, as if a person took paint on a brush and threw it around. It is one of those paintings that people see and go, “I could have done that.”
The fact that people could emulate a similar piece on an 8 by 5 board could or could not be true.
What they cannot replicate though is the fact that this piece was created by one of the fathers of the abstract expressionist movement. For this, it is already significant. The Song for Marion team sure wouldn’t mind having one of these at the office.
This painting was initially sold for almost $150 million in 2006. Despite its random art style, it has a place in art history as a symbol of the evolving art form and style.
Pollock has other pieces that sell for even higher prices. No. 17A, 1948 is much like No.5. At first glance, the painting is an explosion of colors. However, upon closer look, several layers of color are present in the painting.
This specific piece sold for $200 million. However, it is only the fourth highest priced piece of art ever purchased throughout history.
Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi
Translated as “Savior of the World”, Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi is in fact the most expensive painting sold in history.
The painting itself depicts Jesus in robes presenting benediction. The Jesus in the painting looks directly outside of the canvas, as if he were locking eyes with a viewer. His right hand has two fingers up in a peace sign and his left hand holds a crystal ball.
This piece is the last of da Vinci and is considered a treasure amongst artists and enthusiasts alike.
Its price is at $450,300,000.
While money is no indicator of art’s success and importance, it is sometimes a good indicator. There are many other expensive paintings out there in the world.
The least that these prices do is hold a lens to the piece of work. This way, we can look at it, try and appreciate it, and see what beauties and truths it holds for us.
Good films are most likely byproducts of brilliant and talented film directors. It doesn’t matter whether they are the best modern movies or even notable game-changing classic movies. All of these were done with a good director on the helm.
The Song for Marion team would like to present you several of the best directors we have in the 21st century. Let’s take a look shall we?
If there was a director out there whose name was synonymous with “style”, Quentin Tarantino would be it. Tarantino started as a film enthusiast in a video rental store. He was able to foster that enthusiasm into creating his own films.
On the surface, Tarantino’s films can be described as simply “cool”. The action sequences are larger than life and bloodier than the depths of hell. He is ultimately filming things that he thinks people might like to see.
Apart from that, his characters are great and memorable. Tarantino’s characters are very distinct. Even the robbers in Reservoir Dogs who are just named after colors stick to a person’s memory because of how they come across on screen. The whole vibe of Tarantino’s films is just very bad ass.
If you have trouble believing that, just watch Samuel Jackson crack his famed Ezekiel quote in Pulp Fiction. If that doesn’t give you goosebumps, why even watch movies?
More than the style though is the substance. Tarantino’s films have a lot of dialogue that helps flesh out the characters and world. These films are not just some explosion display as seen in some action movies.
These are carefully crafted and co-dependent worlds that have been well thought out. We are eager to see what Tarantino directs next.
Hayao Miyazaki is a director whose works have probably touched more lives than you could imagine. This Japanese director has been knocking it out of the park with every single one of his movies for the past years.
Miyazaki focuses on fantasy realms where magic and odd things come into play. These worlds are built from the ground up and populated with characters and events that, despite its wild environment, touch people in the heart.
His works are relatable for both children and adults. More importantly though, his films are timeless. As the years go by, these films only seem to age like a fine wine.
Moving away from feature films, we introduce Michael Moore onto this list. Moore has always used his camera to catch and present reality to the viewers through his documentaries.
The special thing about Moore is his unforgiving commitment to find and show the reality. He asks questions that not a lot of people would, and he keeps pushing until he gets an answer. And as seen in his work, when no answer is given, that in itself speaks volumes.
He has written documentaries on a number of topics such as 9/11, school shootings, Trump, Capitalism, and the healthcare system.
There are more than just three amazing 21st century directors. As film enthusiasts, it is your job to discover these directors and find out what truths and stories they are presenting. Happy viewing.
In Song For Marion’s previous article, we spoke about some great modern films that people should see. Now it is easy to talk about modern films, pick about the best ones, and talk about what makes them so good.
However, with much everything, it may be valuable to look back to our history and see how filmmaking has evolved. Films have continually been evolving.
When the camera was invented, movies were not a thing. It was only used to take pictures of people and other events. Then, the Lumiere brothers shot the first film ever. It was called “The Arrival of a Train”.
In this film, it just showcased a train coming in at a station, and people either getting on or off. The fact that people never saw moving pictures before (hence the term) was a feat in and of itself. Since then, there have been numerous other films that changed the whole landscape.
Let’s take a look at three iconic films that did just that.
Birth of a Nation
Birth of a Nation was a film made by D.W. Griffith in 1915. At the time, silent films were still the prevailing medium.
The film chronicled several events during the American Civil War. It covers several events such as when Abraham Lincoln was murdered as well as when the Ku Klux Klan was created.
The pro KKK sentiments of the movie do surround with a certain air of taboo and controversiality. Despite that though, the film was very successfully.
Apart from that though, the greatness of Birth of a Nation can be seen in its technical marvels. For one, it was one of the first films to have a narrative. Nowadays, films (mostly) have stories that people followed. Birth of a Nation started that. It was also the first film that ran for more than an hour, engaging its audience the whole time.
Griffith also established several facets of visual language through this film. The way the actors moved on stage, the way a certain event was shot, and the way the editing was put together were things being applied in this film. In many ways, these techniques are still used to this day.
A Trip to the Moon
A Trip to the Moon was a movie created by French filmmaker George Melies. Like the title suggests, it features a group of people’s trip to the moon via a bullet shot into space. Yes, you’ve read that right.
The film was created in 1902. Thus, there were no special effects yet to utilize. Instead, Melies used several practical effects that really pushed the boundaries of creativity in films.
This film is an instant classic and is a good film that truly shaped the landscape of film in terms of what can be achieved.
The Jazz Singer
Silent films were all the rage back in the day. In this era, personalities like Buster Keaton gained great renown. However, the next big step of film came to be: sound.
The first ever film to utilize sound was called the Jazz Singer. Before this film, the act of synchronizing film was a chore. That is until Jazz Singer came about.
Using the Vitaphone, they were able to synchronize voice and sound. The Jazz Singer was the first full-length film to have singing, music playing in the film, and talking.
When this film came out, it was the inevitable end of silent films.
With so many films out there, be sure to find more iconic and influential films throughout history. Without these films, cinema today would be radically different.
Films are a fantastic medium. They allow stories to be seen and felt on so many different levels. A good movie is something that is timeless and that will transcend genres or categories.
Since films are art, in some way, classifying them as good is somewhat subjective in a sense. There are many different reasons why a film is good. However, there are similar features that shine through.
Let’s take a look at three modern films that all people should see. By modern, we mean something that is in the 21st century. Hit the lights, sit back, and let’s see some of the best films for the Song For Marion team.
Ever since director Christopher Nolan came about, he was always seen as a revolutionary of film. His film concepts and styles of shooting were something that were pushing the boundaries of what could be done in film. One of them is Inception.
When the movie Inception is brought up in a conversation, two critics emerge: one that did not understand it and hated it, and another who thought it was brilliant.
The problem with inception is that its plot is quite complicated. The film centers around Dom (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) who is able to navigate in people’s dreams and manipulate or retrieve thoughts. A prior job gone wrong has banned him from his home while also putting a bounty on his head.
A wealthy investor Saito (played by Ken Watanabe) provides an opportunity for Dom to get back to his home and children. It is one last job where Dom and his team need to plant an idea in a mark’s brain (this is the act of inception) that will make him dissolve their company.
The mechanics of how the dream world works, and subsequently how dreams within dreams work, are also complicated.
The good thing about Inception though is it complexity. It truly is a marvel in modern filmmaking. The fact that Nolan was able to pull off such a massive storyline is already cause for applause. However, it is what Nolan does in it that is truly remarkable.
In the film, there is one fight scene where Arthur (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) fights an assailant in a room that is rotating. You read that right, the whole room is rotating like a dice thrown on the table.
Rather than just using special effects to simulate this, Nolan and his crew created a rotating room that they filmed. Before that, it was unheard of to do something so wild. It is always good to see a person’ reaction when you say that Gordon-Levitt’s Spider-man-like antics in the film were all him.
Apart from the cinematography though, Nolan’s triumph lies in his emotion. Through everything, Nolan’s Inception is a powerful film that plays on a person’s emotion. We’d recommend everyone to watch it. Several times if that helps.
You ever watch those films that have a character as a child and then a character as an adult? Usually, the filmmakers would use two different actors to do this. It makes sense, because waiting for an actor or actress to get old is just preposterous… right?
Richard Linklater doesn’t think so. Linklater previously directed the “Before” series that followed two characters’ life-changing conversations with each other. Those films were praised with how good the dialogue was, and how it was tied together by just talking.
With Boyhood, Linklater spends twelve years shooting this amazing film. Following just one actor as he grows old, Linklater chronicles the life of a boy turning into a man.
This film brings realism front and center and shows the life and growth of a single person. This film truly is a mirror to a person’s life as people can resonate with how real the characters and their lives are.
There are still so many films out there that you must see. These two are only the tip of the iceberg. We urge you to find more of the best modern films and watch them.