Art on Screen Databasetm Full Record

© 1985-1997 Program for Art on Film, Inc. All rights reserved.

Click here to see an illustration from the film.

Original Title:
Series Title:
Edition Version:
Data: 14 min. col. 35mm; 16mm; video
Year: 1990
Country of Prod'n: United States; Great Britain
Language: French and German with English subtitles
Producing Agency: Program for Art on Film, a joint venture of The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The J. Paul Getty Trust; Antelope Films in association with Channel Four Television
Sources: Program for Art on Film; Films Incorporated Video
Int'l Sources: Antelope Films (GB)
Director: Ken McMullen
Producer: Clive Syddall; Olivia Stewart
Executive Producer:
Writer: Ken McMullen; Michael Wilson
Camera: Elso Roque
Editor: Peter Carlton
Music Composer: Simon Heyworth; Gustav Mahler
Art Consultant: Michael Wilson
Addl Credits: Co-Prod.: Sarah Stacey; Designer: Olivia Stewart; Costume Designer: Monica Howe; Add'l Music: Tony Hinnigan; Add'l Music: Michael Taylor
Cast: Felipe Ferrer (Maximilian ); Andre Gomes (General Miramon); Zazy (General Mejia)
Synopsis: French painter Edouard Manet (1832-1883) painted a series of four canvases depicting the execution of the Emperor Maximilian of Mexico in 1867. In this dramatic short, film director Ken McMullen recreates the artist's studio and the events of Maximilian's death, using a single uninterrupted shot to trace the artistic process through the eye of the painter. With voice-over narration to counterpoint the images, the film explores the narrative, historical, and visual texts that Manet drew upon to form his final version. A film by director Ken McMullen and art historian Michael Wilson.
Genre Film: Visual Essay
Aud./Grade Level: General
Suggested Uses: General Information
Subject Headings: Painting -- Impressionist -- Europe -- France -- 19C
Creativity -- Europe -- France -- 19C

Assoc Concepts: Art and history; Execution
Artist's Name: Manet, Edouard (1832-1883), French painter
Artist on Camera: No
Reviews: New York Times, 13 Nov 91
Awards: Intl. Film & TV Festival of New York Gold Medal, 1991
Evaluation: Most exciting. Its smooth, single-shot tableau-vivant is definitely a very original approach--dramatizing the story behind the work as a way of heightening its meaning. Explores the highly-charged drama inherent in the art. The idea of showing through words and images how an artistic concept develops, could be applied to other artists' works. Brings together context, history, sociology, iconography, and influences. This "imagined" reality can be more effective than traditional documentary. Some evaluators would have liked to see all four of Manet's versions together for proper perspective; others wanted more formal analysis. But most agreed the concept was effective and very well executed--a most cinematic treatment. Technical quality very good to superior. Content and programming potential both very good.

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