Casa Malaparte is a house on the Isle of Capri which sits on a cliff 32 metres above the sea overlooking the Gulf of Salerno. it was designed in 1937 by Adalberto Libera for the italian writer & journalist Curzio Malaparte. in 1963 the house was used in Le Mépris, a film by Jean-Luc Godard starring Brigitte Bardot.
Hila picked Cracks for our next comparisons project – a film I have been meaning to watch for ages but just never got round to. i actually find myself watching less and less films these days, as any available tv time is dedicated to my series addiction (cough game of thrones cough). so this was a great “excuse” to indulge in some eva green action – one of my favourite actresses who has a knack for playing seriously unhinged characters.
i’ve been seeing screenshots of Cracks floating around on various blogs and other places on the web since it was released, which painted the film as being quite dreamy and beautiful. i felt the complete opposite while watching it, however, something you will probably understand if you have seen the film yourself. i can’t say i enjoyed it. not that it matters – that’s not the point of this exercise.
i paired scenes from the film with paintings by post-impressionist Moise Kisling – there’s an underlying sense of unease in his work, especially his portraits… something that i felt throughout the film. Hila’s poem follows.
edit: felt i needed to add a post-script after Kate’s comment below, i only found out that the film was based on a book after i had watched it. not only that, but it is written by south african born author sheila kohler and set in a south african boarding school (nogal)
words by Hila Schachar
paintings from top to bottom: untitled ; les enfants du docteur tas, louis et zoucha ; portrait de femme ; ofelia ; nu couchi dans les feuillages ; les mains ; tulips ; untitled ; l’attente ; eve ; la naufragée
you’ll remember hila from her things i like right now a while back. we’ve teamed up for a cool little project where we pick a film, i create some colour comparison mash ups (be it with art, fashion, vintage…) and hila writes a short piece of fiction based on the results. i was immediately intrigued when hila suggested the idea, as it combines creative strengths from both sides – and i am in awe of anyone who can write creatively.
the first film is bright star directed by jane campion, which tells the story of the romance between fanny brawne and john keats. i paired stills from the film with paintings by edmund c. tarbell, an american impressionist who often painted portraits and scenes of his wife and children. hila’s piece of fiction follows.
fanny brawne sits in a corner and watches an ailing man duplicate words. her needle tears and reforms incisively.
she imagines a tweed suit that can be gilded with unutterable sentences. she would sew this suit as armour, lain against a rapt chest that beats irregularly with illness.
she knows her woman’s work is really a form of enlivening. an act of creation and generosity.
fanny’s watching becomes a topic of fascination for someone who reads letters meant only for her. after her mother’s death, a young girl likes to sit in the enclosed space of a torn armchair, examining the cover, the pages, the smell of a book of letters with fanny’s name. this too is an act of evasive generosity, parcelled out through distance.
she mirrors what fanny creates. in her bed at night, she lays fabric before her and rips neat squares. they cover one another like a palimpsest. what clever fingers can do is bind the trauma of experience with love.
her mother liked the quiet contemplation of needlepoint. like praying, she would say. and so her prayers come as a form of domestic reconstitution, not sublime poetry. the revenant residue of someone who will be forgotten, while words remain.
fanny feels his straining beneath clothes as she sits in corners, wrapped in chairs like a cocoon. this evasion, this bodily separation, comes together through her sharp needle, moving in, moving out.
words by hila schachar.
this post has really taken me long enough, because jeff bridges has the best personal website EVER and it deserves to be thrown around all over the internet all the time. have you seen his photography? these were from making true grit…
the aviator is one of those films that i got really excited for, watched it once (i’m pretty sure i enjoyed it) and then never saw again. this seems like a running trend with films that star leo for some reason. but i love leo – i really do. my love for him can be attributed to the fact that he was our generation’s… wait, am i going to say it… bieber. i don’t know! what is the pre-teen obsession now? is it that dude from the vampire movies? whatever the case – leo’s face was all over our teen magazines at the time. we cut out pictures of him, he was on our walls. yes.
but enough leo talk. he’s a great actor – i do apologise for the bieber comparison (obviously comparing our mania for leo to the mania for bieber… not any other factors.) back to the aviator!
i need to watch this again, certainly from a visual perspective. cate blanchett is absolutely top notch as katharine hepburn, obviously (but i am quite puzzled as to why gwen stefani & kate beckinsale were even cast in this film.)
screencaps courtesy of cate blanchett fan
did you ever watch that simpsons episode where mr. burns loses it & he basically becomes howard hughes – “we’ll take the spruce moose! hop in!” haha, simpsons – i love you.