Creative Fluidity: Film And Art

A Look At The Blurred Boundaries Between Cult Classics And Painting

They say, ‘life imitates art’ but what about film imitating art? The close, at times almost identical, parallels between Renaissance masterpieces and more contemporary cult-film classics can be found everywhere – if we only look for them. This is exactly what filmmaker, Vugar Efendi, did when creating: Film Meets Art, a three-minute film about artistic influence.

After becoming fascinated with Salvador Dali and the artist’s foray into the world of film, Efendi found himself asking the question: how many films are actually inspired by different art forms? But it was only a year later when studying Edward Hopper’s House By The Railroad painting that he decided to pursue the project, “it struck me that the house in the painting looked exactly like the house use in Pyscho”.

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As London based composer, Gio Galanti’s, piece, Nocturnal plays in the background, heavy with atmosphere and emulating an almost eerie calmness, Efendi matches easily recognisble film scenes with famous paintings. Though the production itself seems relatively low-key the message is clear: no genre is stand alone and no concept a singular strand. The different art forms merge into one another, colliding to create new concepts and distorting scenes and images we once felt familiar with to change our perception.

A trip down memory lane for film-buffs and an education for those unfamiliar with works such as Da Vinci’s The Last Supper or Sandro Botticelli’s Birth of Venus, Efendi’s thought-provoking video serves as proof that inspiration is everywhere and boundaries are fluid.

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We spoke to the young filmmaker about his creative process and his future plans:

The Plus: What was the process of matching art to film clips?
Vugar Efendi:
Before I start production for any of my projects, I do an extensive research on sources as well as seeing if my project idea has been carried out before. With this one, after days of research, I compiled all the sources for both films and artworks and began editing. The editing itself on a technical level is very simple, the challenge lies in ensuring the pacing is right. The video was originally almost ten minutes long, however, I wanted it to be short but sweet – I didn’t it want to lose the interest of the audience.

TP: What is the connection between cult-films and prominent artwork that you wanted to portray? Does appreciation of one help the appreciation of the other?
VE:
Absolutely. With any art from, that being paintings or music, when they inspire each other, it may completely produce something else, something greater and that might change the way we see things. That was something I wanted to portray in my project. I also wanted to make something enjoyable for everybody to see.

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TP: Why did you choose the piece by Gio Galanti as the background track?
VE:
Music is very important to me, not only when I edit but also when I plan the tone and style of the film in my head. The music was originally going to be used for another project of mine, which eventually changed. With this short film, I wanted something that sounded classical and serene. To me, this piece was perfect.

TP: How does Film Meets Art differ from your other short films? How has art influenced your other productions?
VE:
Film Meets Art compared to other works I have done, is more educational. If I were to compare it with Her-Space, the similarity is only that they are both analysis videos. Every project that I do, I try to make it as different and fresh, both stylistically and thematically. Her-Space, which was the project before this, for example focused more on how space conveys loneliness. Whereas Film Meets Art is a side by side comparison of art and film.
I am a big lover of Edward Hopper’s work, how his characters have these blank expressions in generic environments, yet they tell so much. That for example somewhat inspired the project on Her.

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TP: What are you doing next?
VE:
Currently I am juggling several projects. I am in the middle of producing and directing a short film called Despair. I also have two analysis videos coming out soon: “Scorsese’s Men in Morality” which looks at Martin Scorsese’s work and “Landscape Cutaway” which looks at landscapes in modern cinema. Due to popular demand I will also be doing a continuation of Film Meets Art, which will be bigger in scope but that project won’t happen any time soon.

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