Saturday, 9 January 2010

12fp(s) - painting 19

This is the most recent Film-inspired painting that I have produced, and as such was the final painting to appear at my exhibition last month.
It is based on one of my favourite films, however this particular still wasn't my first choice to paint (for such a stylish and culturally significant film, it seems to have surprisingly few unedited film stills available on the Internet).

The film, starring Warren Beatty & Faye Dunaway, re-tells a notorious American crime story, and was directed by Arthur Penn in what critics consider a ground-breaking style that merged the big-budget world of Hollywood with the joie-de-vivre of Nouvelle Vague [French New Wave] films. As a matter of fact, the first choice director was acclaimed Nouvelle Vague critic/director Francois Truffaut (Jules et Jim, 400 Blows), and when he dropped out in order to direct Fahrenheit 451 (starring Oskar Werner and Julie Christie) the producers approached Jean-Luc Godard (A Bout de Souffle, Bande a Part) - who today is widely considered the most influential of all the Nouvelle Vague directors.
The film is Bonnie & Clyde (1967).

The film is a romanticised version of the couple's real-life story as they rob banks and go on the run with their gang. It has plenty of great action sequences mixed with enough intimate moments between the gang for it to feel like a complete story rather than just a hollow action-heavy blockbuster like we're used to from Hollywood today.
As such there were numerous scenes from this film that I had in mind for making this painting, however I was unable to source any of them as still images on the Internet, and so decided to settle on this still image portraying Bonnie Parker holding up a bank instead.

The actual film was shot in colour, however I decided to paint this a single reddish colour similar to my earlier Bande a Part painting because that style worked well in the past. I'm not so keen on it here though, mainly because this particular pigment [similar but not identical to the one used in the Bande a Part painting] didn't offer the kind of strong tonal variation that I think would have made this painting come to life.
By using that particular colour I had hoped that it would create an appealing vintage aesthetic, however once I started painting I discovered that the colour was more like an off salmon-pink, which I don't find appealing: Had the paint been a bolder pink colour it may have worked better, or (ideally) had it been more of a brown/sepia colour, I think it would have been near-perfect.

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