Monday, November 14, 2011

Two lectures on Art and Film

I have the honour of joining Luc Travers, of Touching the Art, for a double lecture on 'Storytelling in Art and Film' this Saturday, November 19th at 2PM in Aliso Viejo, California. 

Luc will be speaking on John William Waterhouse, and I will be speaking on 'The Cutting Room: How Filmmakers Shape Their Story," with reference to Ridley Scott's Kingdom of Heaven.

Here are the descriptions of the two lectures:

2PM Introducing Waterhouse 
by Luc Travers

Waterhouse is beloved for his poignant and evocative visions.  However, he is a master "storyteller" as well.  In this lecture, we will discuss some of his masterpieces as well as some little-known works to gain a better understanding of how to "read" the "story" in an artwork.

3:30PM The Cutting Room: How Filmmakers Shape Their Story 
by Fawaz Al-Matrouk

Editing has been called "the final rewrite," when the various pieces of a movie are shaped into the story we see. Fawaz will discuss the filmmaker's art, using two very different versions of the same movie, Ridley Scott's Kingdom of Heaven.

I first met Luc on his tour of the San Diego Museum of Art. He showed me a new and more enjoyable way of looking at art. I used to go straight for the information plaque, but Luc makes you really experience the art, and enjoy it without knowing anything about the history, artist, style or subject. 

I've been very excited by Luc's work in bringing this experience to people through his tours, and now his book. So it was doubly an honour when Luc asked me to give a lecture about storytelling in film. And I had the perfect subject in mind, something I've talk about informally, and have always wanted to give a presentation on. Kingdom of Heaven.

Ridley Scott's epic about the crusades was released theatrically, and later re-released with a director's cut. The differences between the two versions are astounding. Subtle changes make for two very different stories, with different characters, obstacles and themes. Comparing the two is a great way to understand a filmmaker's choices in building a story. 

For the lecture, we will watch the opening sequence from each version, and discuss the differences, and how they change our experience. 

If you're in town, we'd love to see you there. If you're not, you can see Luc's lecture by live or recorded webcast. And you can check out his book, Touching the Art: A New Approach to Art Appreciation.

Stay tuned for a report from Mizna's Twin Cities Arab Film Festival. 

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