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Framing Pictures

Film and the Visual Arts

Steven Jacobs

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Through the feature films and documentaries of directors including Emmer, Erice, Godard, Hitchcock, Pasolini, Resnais, Rossellini and Storck, Jacobs examines the way films 'animate' artworks by means of cinematic techniques, such as camera movements and editing, or by integrating them into a narrative.

He explores how this 'mobilization' of the artwork is brought into play in art documentaries and artist biopics, as well as in feature films containing key scenes situated in museums. The tension between stasis and movement is also discussed in relation to modernist cinema, which often includes tableaux vivants combining pictorial, sculptural and theatrical elements. This tension also marks the aesthetics of the film still, which have inspired prominent art photographers such as Cindy Sherman and Jeff Wall.

Illustrated throughout, Jacobs' study of the presence of art in film, alongside the omnipresence of the filmic image in today's art museums, is an engaging work for students and scholars of film and art alike.


List of Illustrations
1. Camera and Canvas: Emmer, Storck, Resnais and the Post-War Art Film
2. Vasari in Hollywood: Biopics and Artists
3. Galleries of the Gaze: Museums in Rossellini's Viaggio in Italia and Hitchcock's Vertigo
4. Tableaux Vivants 1: Painting, Film, Death and Passion Plays in Pasolini and Godard
5. Tableaux Vivants 2: Film Stills and Contemporary Photography
6. The Video That Knew Too Much: Hitchcock, Contemporary Art and Post-Cinema

About the Author

Steven Jacobs teaches film history and film theory at Ghent University and the University of Antwerp.


Jacob’s detailed discussion of these filmmakers’ different strategies brings into relief the critical and aesthetics complexities animating these filmic projects.

- Matilde Nardelli, Oxford Art Journal

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