Flying Over I-95 S. So With Hopper.

Best day of the week?  Friday. Friday afternoon. Doesn’t matter how backed up traffic is on I-95 North, Home is no more than 45 minutes away.  Nothing, I mean, Nothing will jam up this vibe. Nothing will impede the start of the Great Unwinding. The seat is reclined a wee bit. The A/C beats back the 86° F mid-August heat. Home, home in minutes.

Best day of the week?  Friday. Friday afternoon. Except when you’re on I-95, heading the wrong way, heading South to LaGuardia Airport.

A working weekend. A long week, getting longer, and blurring into the week after.

Baggage check. A line snaking through the ropes waiting to pass Security. The listless, iron backed chairs in the waiting area. The rush to board. The hopeless prayer for an empty seat next to you to stretch out.  “Drink Sir?” Weary flight attendants forcing smiles with their offers of pretzels and tasteless shortbread cookies – and then, they hawk their gourmet sandwiches tightly shrink wrapped in plastic. “No thanks to that.” A three and a half hour flight that feels like five.  The interminable wait for your luggage to slide onto the conveyer in baggage claim. The 35 minute ride to the hotel, hoping the cabbie will let you sit in silence. The wait for Room Service. The unpacking of the suitcase. A glance in the shower. That would be nice. Too tired, the shower is reduced to a splash of cold water from the sink. Room service arrives. You sit on edge of the bed in front of the TV, a fork in one hand, the remote in the other, clicking by all News (real, fake or otherwise). A Kit-Kat calls out to you from the mini-bar. And then the M&Ms. Laying flat on your back, you float with your eyes closed, savoring the sugar high as the smooth milk chocolate coats your tongue. And then, only then, you let go, Salzberg’s letting go, it’s an inside job, and you let exhaustion sweep you away to your alarm for the Uber pick-up at 6:15 a.m. on Saturday morning.
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Hopper, in films…forget the words. Watch. (90 sec)


Over the years we’ve brought you a handful of video essays about the relationship between visual and cinematic art, how directors will borrow from famous paintings and sculptures in their framing, but never before have we brought you such an essay that focuses exclusively on the influence of one artist. Thanks to editor Ignacio Montalvo, however, now we can.

Edward Hopper is one of the most famous American artists of the 20th century. A native New-Yorker, Hopper was a realist whose work was centered around depictions of modern American life, like a starker sort of Norman Rockwell, a man not afraid to show the shadows blended into the everyday. His most famous work, Nighthawks, a simple late-nite diner scene from 1942, has been recreated time and time again in film, television, and graphic print, but that’s just one of the artist’s many paintings that have appealed to filmmakers over the years. In episode eight of the new Twin Peaks, an episode many, myself included, consider one of the most artistic achievements the medium has ever known, Lynch makes no less than three direct visual references to Hopper’s work, which in his hands become perversions of the American dream.

Many other filmmakers have also interpreted Hopper through their personal perspectives, ranging from the innocent to the corrupt, realistic to farcical, and severe to lighthearted. Press play above to start your tour through the Movie Museum of Edward Hopper.

~ H. Perry Horton, “Framed: The Influence of Artist Edward Hopper on Contemporary Cinema” from Film School Rejects, August 8, 2017


Related Posts: Edward Hopper

Edward Hopper. Third Grade Report Card.

This image was drawn on the back of Edward Hopper’s third grade report card dated October 23, 1891, when Hopper was nine years old. Edward Hopper (1882-1967), Little Boy Looking at the Sea, n.d., ink on paper, 4.5 x 3.5 in.


Notes:

Hopper & Shirley: Morning Sun

morning-sun-edward-hopperedward-hopper-morning-sun-1952

“In Hopper’s paintings we can stare at the most familiar scenes and feel that they are essentially remote, even unknown. People look into space. They seem to be elsewhere, lost in a secrecy the paintings cannot disclose and we can only guess at. It is as if we were spectators at an event we were unable to name; we feel the presence of what is hidden, of what surely exists but is not revealed. By formalizing privacy, by giving it a space where it can be witnessed without being violated. Hopper’s rooms become sad havens of desire. We want to know more about what goes on in them, but of course we cannot. The silence that accompanies our viewing seems to increase. It is unsettling. It weighs on us like solitude. “

— Mark Strand, Hopper


The first image is Edward Hopper’s 1952 painting titled Morning Sun. The second, is a screen shot from the film “From Shirley – Visions of Reality” where Austrian Director Gustav Deutsch has recreated 13 of Hopper’s better-known paintings with images that bear an uncanny cinematic recreation of Hopper’s works. Hopper’s paintings are brought alive by the film, telling the story of a woman, whose thoughts, emotions and contemplations lets us observe an era in American history. Shirley is a woman in America in the 1930s, ‘40s, ‘50s, and early ‘60s.” (Phaidon)


Credit: Mark Strand Quote and inspiration: To Escape From a CommonPlace of Existence

 

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