ELEVEN 1-MINUTE FILMS INSPIRED BY A FAMOUS WORK OF ART CHOSEN AT RANDOM BY EACH DIRECTOR.
Scroll below for information on each of the films (in order of screening) and the art that inspired them.
You can also see a PDF version of the printed book if you like.
Ô ma douce souffrance (Oh my sweet suffering)
This is the story of a dancer for the Moulin Rouge. We follow along on her journey as she goes through the same motions, night after night. It ends where it began, thus creating an endless cycle for her and her audience.
Moulin Rouge: La Goulue
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
I've always been intrigued by the Moulin Rouge, which probably stemmed from an obsession with the 2001 film as a child. So when I was randomly assigned this artwork, I was ecstatic and knew I wanted to create something that combined the essence of the time period and the simplicity of the art style in which it was rendered. I also took influence from the modernized art styles that hearken back to these past works, specifically the title sequence for the Queen Charlotte Netflix series. So I wanted to create a piece that feels simple at first glance, but is actually teeming with complexities through it's design, motion and story.
Design & Animation: Becka Riccio
The Client is an epistolary short comedy. It follows the frantic letter writing of King Philip IV of Spain as he sends ideas, feedback, and thoughts to his beneficiary Diego Velázquez.
Las Meninas is a gorgeous and at first glance an almost indecipherable masterwork of art. I wondered how an artist would describe the concept to a 17th century King to get them on board. So it just got me wondering about the challenges of communicating between artist and patron, which resulted in imagining modern email exchanges between clients and vendors. The Spanish Kingdom did not pay Velázquez until 1666. Unfortunately Velázquez died in 1660, six years prior.
Written by Mishu Hilmy
Music by Cercles Nouvelles
Footage from Motion Array by Piotr Naumowicz, Mr-Mic2
Additional Footage by Kool Shooters, Kuba Zagajewski, Tom Leishman
Voice King Philip IV Mishu Hilmy
A woman fantasizes about an intimate encounter with a mysterious person during brunch with her fiancé.
John Singer Sergant
The initial reception of the painting was quite critical. The reviews were mostly split between critics who found it overtly sexual, and those who found the subject unattractive. Personally I found her pose and expression feels to me as one of 'expectant poise'. That is to say beholden to the expectations of the culture she was born into; she balanced on a knife blade between how she is expected to act, and her internal desires.
Isaac White - Filmmaker
Tegan Earley as Virginie Amélie Avegno Gautreau
Amelia Finefrock as The Mystery Woman
Isaac White as The Fiancé
After watching an inspiring tv commercial, a little boy decides he needs a dog. He begs his mom until she finally says yes, but the real question isn't should the boy get a dog. It's will his mom regret it?
When I first looked at "The Farm" by Joan Miro, I noticed one thing. The animals. I decided I wanted to do something with animals. Specifically the little dog running next to the path. Then I thought about the amount of times I begged my mom to get a dog, hoping maybe she would say yes. I wrote a script about an alternate universe, where maybe, just maybe, my mom would say yes.
Written & Directed by Carmen Jaffe
Ben Kammer: Director of Photography
Elise Jaffe: Producer
Gregg Jaffe: Editor
Donovan Jaffe as Boy
Karen Semone as Mom
Winnie Jaffe as Herself
So, Same Time Next Year
6 friends embark on an epic 3-day, 24 mile, backpacking trip. The friends (happy, unprepared and sweaty) forget how painful this venture was last year. The forgetful group merrily journeys into the Washington forrest unprepared as always.
The Persistence of Memory
It's human nature to block out the bad, and remember the good. We pick and choose what sticks in our memory. Sometimes we learn from our choices, but often time we don't. People continue to make the same choices over and over... for better or for worse.
Jackie Avellar: Director, Extremely-Annoying-Human with a camera out for 16 miles, Editor
Jackie's team of survivalists, super-troopers and professional complainers.
Tongue Twister Theater
The joy of the tongue twister is certainly in its complexity of pronunciation, yes, but the pairing of this with creative imagery and storytelling makes them such joyous little things. This film amplifies these traits by extending the length and increasing the silliness of the tongue twister, then pairing it with colorful paper puppetry and mixed media.
Einstein sticking his tongue out, 1951
Albert Einstein became well known for being a scientific genius, and became a legend because he exuded joy and quirkiness. This photo, taken on his 72nd birthday, exemplifies that vibe. This film not only pulls the "tongue" out of the art to inspire the theme, but does so in a way to match the quirky nature of the joyous man who the tongue is attached to.
Danny McCarthy, Writer, Director, Artist, & Puppeteer
Emily Serruto, Artist & Puppeteer
Voice Over & Tweeter: Danny McCarthy
Travelers Among Grief
This film follows a woman who is grieving the loss of her best friend. It explores the difficulty of going back to places you once experienced and loved together and all you have left is the photos.
Travelers Among Mountains and Streams
When I first saw this painting, I knew I would be heading to the mountains to create. Typically, for me, the mountains are a place of happiness and color, whereas this painting gave me feelings of darkness and solitude. But when and how could these places I love bring me darkness? Then I thought about who I have made most of my memories in the mountains with: my dogs. When all I have left are the photos and memories, I know visiting these places without them will be incredibly difficult. Although it was an emotional story to tell, I know it is one that many will relate to.
Written, Directed, Filmed, and Edited byJulie Schultz-Wallace
Ellen Dohen as woman and Nelle as dog
The best place for inspiration and creative thought is not one you’d often expect and yet it serves as the breeding ground for some of the best works of art.
The second I stood next to the large replica of The Thinker at the Cleveland Museum of Art an idea came into my head and I couldn't shake it. He just looked like he was... well - I suppose watch the film and you'll know what I was "thinking"
Written & Directed by Elise Jaffe
Ben Kammer - DP
Carmen Jaffe - PA
Christina Stumpf - Editor
Rebecca Entel - Creative Consultant
Donovan Jaffe - Creative Consultant
Ben Kammer - Audio Engineer
Mo Shipley - Sleeping Person
Carmen Jaffe - Notebook Girl
Wanjiku Kairu - The Thinker
Craig Marney - Narrator
Kinds of Blue
Carlos Douglas Jr
Kinds of Blue is an experimental short film that captures the essence of Chicago through the lens of stained glass. The light that shows through the glass illuminates scenes of city living & architecture in a "most-bluesy" way.
This experimental film was inspired by Marc Chagall's "America Windows", a 1977 stained glass piece that explores history, culture, and city living all in one space. I wanted to create something experimental based on "America Windows", as I felt Chagall's work has numerous focal points rather than one. Stained glass is enjoyed at its full potential when illuminated by light, and this got me thinking about how I could create something that plays with light and framing an image within an image. The title "Kinds of Blue" is inspired both by Chicago's deep musical roots in Blues, and a play-on-words with Miles Davis' masterpiece album, "Kind of Blue".
Director, DP, Editor: Carlos Douglas Jr
Creature of the Night
Some of us are morning people... some of us are creatures of the night. When the rest of you go to bed that's when the world of possibilities opens up.
When researching it and exploring the painting itself I wanted to capture the idea of these characters that exist at a time when many others are tucked away in their beds. While the piece itself has a feeling of melancholy, it also has a sense of mystery with where these people came from or where they may go.
Hopper's aesthetic was also influential to the birth of the Film Noir style, so I leaned into that look when making my short film.
Written, Directed & Edited by Gregg Jaffe
Director of Photography - Dean Berdusis
Producer - Elizabeth Laidlaw
Sound Mix - Ben Kammer
Joe Dempsey - Night Man
Elizabeth Laidlaw - Wife
There's only one parking space left.
City Landscape evokes feelings of being overwhelmed amidst chaos, the same as one feels when having to perform the hardest automotive maneuver known to man.
Brian Davis - Director, Design, Animation, Sound Design