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13 of Edward Hopper's paintings are brought alive by the film, telling the story of a woman, whose thoughts, emotions and contemplations let us observe an era in American history. Shirley is a woman in America in the 1930s, '40s, '50s, and early '60s. A woman who would like to influence the course of history with her professional and socio political involvement.
13 vignettes recreate the paintings of Edward Hopper
Edward Hopper was one of the most influential modern American painters, who took his inspirations from the cinema and literature of his time (1882 to 1967). His pictures reflected contemporary America in spare but very detailed scenes that appeared to be frozen moments in time. His use of light and shadow was evocative; his color palette reduced but intense.
Gustav Deutsch attempts to recreate 13 paintings of Hopper, creating 13 vignettes that highlight life and history in the USA between 1931 and 1963. The story follows the life of Shirley and her thoughts throughout the vignettes. News clips, music and poems - the movie is concerned as much with the inner workings and thoughts of Shirley as in recreating the scenes that encompass the Hopper paintings. This is in the spirit of Edward Hopper, who was very much interested in psychology, which influenced his work. Gustav Deutsch has succeeded in translating Hopper's work into a movie and created a unique work that unfreezes the paintings and gives them life.
The movie moves slowly and you need to approach the vignettes as you would approach a painting - take your time, bath in the colors and lights, soak in the details and let the stories unfold. The red line is elusive in this movie but exists, if you are willing to search for it. This movie is a unique vision that will appeal to those, who like Hopper, the realism movement in art, and movies about art.
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