Picture of the Week #49: “But What I Really Want to Do is Paint…”

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A while ago I posted some paintings by film directors. To cut a(n already not very) long story short, here are some more. See if you can guess who painted the the pictures in this post without looking at the captions. Match the pictures to the directors who created them: Alfred Hitchcock, Satyajit Ray, Jan Svankmajer, Peter Greenaway, Dennis Hopper, Jean Cocteau, Akira Kurosawa, Federico Fellini, John Huston, Josef von Sternberg, Mike Figgis and Sergei Eisenstein. Some are more obvious than others.

These are selections taken from Karl French, Art by Film Directors (London: Mitchell Beazley, 2004)


Satyajit Ray’s Alien

One of the joys of a new research project (you know, apart from the obvious pleasures of sitting indoors on a sunny day, at a desk, reading through a stack of books on the off-chance that one of them might contain something relevant and/or comprehensible) is finding those tangential nuggets of information that, even if they don’t add much to the central drive of a piece of work, provide a diverting avenue of distraction for a while. For instance, I’m reading and writing about film and puppetry at the moment, which has led me into the interesting zone of animatronics. Maybe this is common knowledge to film buffs, but I’m never afraid to admit my ignorance (I’d be close to mute if I was), so I was surprised to find out about Satyajit Ray’s The Alien, an unmade film which the great Indian director claimed was an inspiration for Spielberg’s E.T. Maybe I’ll blog about it a bit more when I know more (though that doesn’t usually stop me), but I could always just draw your attention to Ray’s own account of the film’s unsuccessful production, beautifully set out here at World of Ray.