5 Moments of Art in the Movies

As we previously showcased, luxury assets show up a lot in film and television. We decided to do a follow up post just about art and artists showing up in films. Below are five of our favorite appearances of art in the movies.

Spellbound, Alfred Hitchcock (1945)

Art in Movies - Spellbound

Alfred Hitchcock’s psychological thriller starring Ingrid Bergman and Gregory Peck was released in 1945 to great success in the US and then the UK. A psychological thriller exploring amnesia and trauma, Spellbound includes a surreal dream sequence designed by Salvador Dali. The dream is integral to the plot, helping Peck’s character unlock the key to his amnesia. Dali’s imagery combined with Miklós Rózsa’s Oscar winning score creates a disturbing but captivating experience.

Manhattan, Woody Allen (1979)

Art in Movies - Manhattan

Woody Allen’s homage to the city of his childhood features a number of references to art and the art world. In the opening scene, the camera pans across Manhattan including an arresting interior shot of the Guggenheim Museum (pictured). Art plays a key role throughout the film – Woody Allen’s character attends a fundraiser at the Museum of Modern Art and visits a number of galleries. During one visit, he meets a friend and debates various parts of the museum’s collection. In true New York fashion, everything is declared ‘derivative’ and in true Woody Allen fashion, those are his favorite pieces.

 The Shining, Stanley Kubrick (1980)

Art in Movies - The Shining

Stanley Kubrick’s horror masterpiece owes at least part of its success to Diane Arbus’ photograph Identical Twins, Roselle, New Jersey, 1967. The Grady sisters (Lisa and Louise Burns) may only spend, a short time on screen but they are one of the most enduring images of the film. Kubrick’s widow has denied that the film’s Grady sisters were intentionally modeled after Arbus’ photo but the similarities are striking. Furthermore, Kubrick worked for and studied with Arbus while a photographer at Look magazine so the connection certainly makes sense.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, John Hughes (1986)

Art in Movies - Ferris Bueller

Despite the film’s rebellious and irreverent take on most things adult, it treats the paintings and sculptures of the Art Institute of Chicago with great respect. Long still shots take us through some of the most iconic paintings in the collection. Ferris (Matthew Broderick) and friends are captivated by the pieces, standing still in a film where they are almost constantly on the move. Director John Hughes admits that he used the scene to show some of his personal favourite pieces including Giacometti, Matisse, Picasso, and more.

Nocturnal Animals, Tom Ford (2016)

Art in Movies - Nocturnal Animals

Designer Tom Ford’s second outing as a director is a modern psychological thriller. Amy Adams plays a gallery owner who becomes obsessed with a novel written by her ex-husband. Ford takes full advantage of Adams’ character and the film is filled incredible works of art by the likes of Calder (pictured), Hirst, and Koons. The most modern film on this list it shows as when Amy Adams is gazing at Damien Hirst’s Saint Sebastian, Exquisite Pain – the piece could not be transported to the set so the whole piece was recreated with CGI after the production team visited the Goss-Michael Foundation in Dallas, Texas.

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About the Author:

Anthony writes about luxury asset trends for Borro Private Finance.