High Museum of Art: Films

Cartopia I by Linda Dubler

We’re warming up for The Allure of the Auto, which opens March 21.

In the Garden, YouTube Pt. 2 by Linda Dubler
August 21, 2009, 11:33 am
Filed under: Film Series: Online, High Museum | Tags: , , , , ,

In honor of our final weekend of Monet Water Lilies, another batch of garden-inspired YouTube treasures. Giant veggies from Alaska, another gem from Sir Richard Attenborough —¬†carniverous pitcher plants —¬†and a monarch butterfly caterpillar munching away.

Find tickets and information about the Monet exhibition on High.org; it closes Sunday, August 23.

– Linda Dubler

In The Garden, You Tube Pt. 1 by Linda Dubler

Monet Water Lilies is closing at the High on August 23. In honor of its final weeks here, I’ve looked for unusual YouTube videos that feature a garden theme. Without further ado: bees, giant Amazonian water lilies (see 1-foot blossoms at minute 2:00), and an avant-garde lesson in cross pollination from Bill Nye.

Summer Movies/YouTube, Part 3 by Linda Dubler
Endless Summer

Endless Summer

Summer bliss has been distilled for as long as moving images endure in Bruce Brown’s 1966 glorified home movie, the surfing classic Endless Summer. A daring example of a filmmaker taking on his own distribution, the film remains a cult favorite.

For the funhouse mirror version of the surfing life, see Doug Pray’s Surfwise. It’s a dysfunctional family doc that will leave you grateful for your own less-than-perfect upbringing. Surfwise focuses on the lives of Paskowitz family, dominated by dad Dorian “Doc” Paskowitz, a surfer, health nut, and self-appointed sex god. Doc (a one-time physician) and his Mexican-Indian wife Juliet had nine kids — eight sons and a daughter — who were raised to be natural creatures, not products of American middle-class conformity. Everyone lived together in a minivan and like the surfers in Endless Summer, chased the waves.

Paskowitz, who was 85 when the film was made in 2007, is Jewish, and the film explores how his devotion to fitness, strength, and self-sufficiency was a direct response to the widespread vision of Jews as helpless victims during the Holocaust. As one son wryly comments, “Doc wanted to repopulate the world with Jews.”

YouTube Diversions

Summer Movies/YouTube, Part 2 by Linda Dubler
June 17, 2009, 11:42 am
Filed under: Film Series: Online | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

As far as the art film crowd is concerned, the undisputed king of beach comedies is Jacques Tati’s Mr. Hulot’s Holiday, made in 1953. Ephraim Katz, author of the indispensible Film Encyclopedia, describes Tati’s alter-ego, the hapless Mr. Hulot as “a gangling, awkward character whose peculiar gait and odd misadventures set him apart from the gadget-obessessed world around him.” The film tells its barely-there story visually, with very little dialogue; some viewers may find it a tad slow going by contemporary standards.

As Rogert Ebert observes “the movie is constructed with the meticulous attention to detail of a Keaton or Chaplin. Sight gags are set up with such patience that they seem to expose hidden functions in the clockwork of the universe.” Give it a chance and you may find its innocent humor a refreshing antidote to all of the loud, overbearing product out there.

Rowan Atkinson remade the film as Mr. Bean’s Holiday. If Bean sets your teeth on edge I’d skip it; if not, it’s interesting to compare the master and then his less subtle acolyte.

-Linda Dubler

You Tube Diversions

Summer on YouTube by Linda Dubler

As part of the Summer Movies theme for this week, I’ll be scouring YouTube for clips. Enjoy!

YouTube Diversions

Esther Williams was discovered by an MGM scout in Billy Rose’s Aquacade and became a star with Bathing Beauty (1942). Here she is in all her spangled glory. Note the water lily sequence (and the green and pink color scheme), a nice tie to the Monet exhibition currently on view at the High.

Coney Island was America’s playground and was at its hot-dog-eating, sunbathing, boardwalk-strolling, rollercoaster-riding height in the 1930s and 40s. Before air conditioning, suburban sprawl, and urban blight took its toll it was an amazing scene.

Wacky Edwardians invent new ways to pass the long summer afternoons in this clip from the British Film Institute’s fab website.

Ecstatic romance…exotic dances…exciting music in the world’s lushest paradise of song!¬† Check out Elvis in a tight white shirt and trunks, surrounded by blazing tiki torches and gyrating guys ‘n gals in Norman Taurog’s Blue Hawaii (1961.)

Coming Soon by hmablogmaster

Films at the High wants to solidify our “cool-kid” status, so we’re trying something new this summer. Using this WordPress space, we’ll treat your eyes to top ten lists, Curator’s film picks and even some YouTube Film Festivals.

Something you’d like to see on the blog or a question for our Curator of Media Arts? Comment away!