These days, each new Woody Allen film offers me only the dispiriting sight of a once volcanically creative artist continually raking over the same old ground, barely challenging himself, and dragging his esteemed cast of actors into his circle of stifling complacency. I say “these days”, but I haven’t seen a satsifying new Allen film since 1999’s Sweet and Lowdown. It must be difficult to make a full-blooded character out of such schematic raw material as Allen gives to his leads here. In this case, Watts plays a woman who has subordinated her own ambitions (she wants to be a mother, and an art dealer – Allenesque shorthand for a character who is intellectually able and culturally curious) to her husband’s attempts at reviving his stalled writing career (writing block being Allenesque shorthand for a character who is … well, it’s hardly a shorthand – he’s just preoccupied, ironically, with intellectual creatives who can’t produce creative work any more). Continue reading
The discovery that Anthony Hopkins has been working away at some figurative paintings (see image above) inspired me to dedicate Picture of the Week to film-makers who also paint. And I wonder if you, dear reader, can work out which is which. You’ll find paintings by Sylvester Stallone, Akira Kurosawa, David Lynch, Takeshi Kitano, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Tim Burton, and Derek Jarman below (or after the break). Rolling your mouse over the image (in some cases you can click for a larger view) will reveal the name of the artist. And if you know of any more film-makers, actors and the like who have a portfolio of paintings I can add to this little gallery, please let me know and I’ll build up a collection.