The Artist and the Model (El artista y la modelo)

*****

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El artista y la modelo

Directed by: Fernando Trueba
Written by: Fernando Trueba & Jean-Claude Carriere
Cast: Jean Rochefort, Aida Folch, Claudia Cardinale

There’s no denying that I Love Movies. Been an avid fan since I was knee high to a grasshopper, and I have never stopped being transported to other places and into other people’s lives every time I walked into a theater. Most of the millions of films I’ve seen in my life have been fun to watch, a few have affected my life, many have been an agony to sit through, and there was only one I walked out on. So when I tell you this film, “The Artist and The Model” is one of the best I’ve seen in some time, you can probably take my word for it.

At it’s core the film is about a famous French sculptor’s search for that elusive idea that creates art, yet it traces his love of nature and truth and his discovery of a new muse at the end of his lifetime that once again sparks his brilliance. It is both touching and loving at the same time, yet never looses the feeling that there is real danger surrounding him on every level.

It was filmed in seductive black and white to recreate the period of time, the ivory toned plaster of the sculptor’s work, and to capture the absolute beauty of the female form, as the camera turns it all into a refined and stunning work of art. The choice of black and white was obvious, yet in this day and age, risky. My kudo’s to the filmmakers for taking this chance.

Here’s the storyline:
In the summer of 1943, an elderly sculptor lives with his wife in the south of France, safe from the War that rages around them. Tired of life, he sits out the war in a dour depression, drinking alone at the local pub, and spending the evenings quietly with his wife. Suddenly his desire to return to work is rekindled by the appearance of a beautiful young Spanish woman named Merce, who has escaped from a refugee camp. In return for food, shelter and a small sum of money the wife, a famous ex-model herself, convinces her to pose nude for him in the hopes that it will inspire him to once again work. Merce’s beauty and innocence throws open his creative door and gives him no choice but to undertake his last and most sensual artistic endeavor.

This is a stunning reflection on the 3 most enduring themes of storytelling, the meaning of life, the approach of death and the validity of art. “The Artist And The Model” is itself a sensitive and seductive piece of art in its own right. The film has already been nominated in 13 categories at the 27th Goya Awards, including Best Film and Best Director, additionally; director Fernando Trueba has won the Silver Shell for Best Director.

It’s a Don’t Miss film!

Rating: 5 Stars (out of 5) “The Artist And The Model” is unrated, Running Time: 104 min. In French and Spanish with English Sub-Titles.


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