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Here are 9 iconic art-related films you need to watch this season

As the fall turns into winter, and the weather makes indoor plans sound very appealing, many will recur to films as a source of entertainment. Luckily, filmmakers continue to gain inspiration from art and artist, thus making several movies about famous painters like Van Gogh or documentaries set around art scandals. So, if you are ready to enjoy a dose of culture, here are 9 films to watch right now that will suit every artistic taste.

1. Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019)

This romantic film set in the eighteenth century, by the French director Céline Sciamma, puts the female gaze at the center of this love story between two women. This deeply intimate film is one to grab your attention through the small details like the crackling fire, the waves, and of course paint brushing against a coarse canvas. Profound, charming, and tragic are the perfect words to describe this particular film.

2. At Eternity’s Gate (2018)

The biographical picture follows the final years of Van Gogh’s life as an unappreciated artist living in France. It explores Van Gogh’s eternal love of art, his mysterious death, and his sole relationship with his brother Theo and fellow painter Paul Gauguin. With the raw performance of actors Willem Dafoe, Oscar Isaac, and Ruper Friend, this is one film to really touch the viewer’s heart and perhaps even speculate about the controversial theory put forward by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith, about Van Gogh’s death not being a suicide but instead a cause of mischief.

3. Loving Vincent (2017)

Not only was Van Gogh an exceptional artist, but also a true inspiration for films. Another movie based on his life is Loving Vincent, the world’s first feature-length painting animation. Directors Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman brilliantly use Van Gogh’s art and painting for background and to give life to characters in his paintings. The film’s animators painted 66,960 frames of oil artwork to create this paint-like effect that gives the movie an entirely different feel.

4. Made You Look (2020)

This documentary reveals the $87 million art con that brought down the Knoedler Gallery – one of the titans of the international art scene -. The gallery was forced to close as it was embroiled in a scam selling fake masterpieces supposedly by famous artists like Jackson Pollock and others. You can’t miss it!

5. Velvet Buzzsaw (2019)

After paintings by an unknown artist are brought to light, a supernatural force enacts vengeance on those who have allowed their greed to get in the way of art. Blood, horror, and amoral art dealers are what best describe this satirical art world thriller film. Renowned actors like Jake Gyllenhaal, John Malkovich, and actresses Rene Russo and Toni Collette make this film one for the books.

6. Philip Guston: A Life Lived (1980)

The documentary is made from footage of a 1971 film from Guston’s Woodstock studio, and a 1980 retrospective of the artist’s work at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. In the film, the artist openly talks about his motives and philosophy about painting.

7. The Last Vermeer (2020)

Based on a novel about the true story of Han van Meegeren, the film portrays a hedonistic Dutch dealer and artist who was prosecuted for having sold a Vermeer masterpiece to the Nazi party. However, things take a turn when he proved his innocence by showing that the painting in question was not his own forgery. An interesting film about one of the most successful art forgers of all time.

8. Driven to Abstraction (2020)

This documentary narrates the story of the $80 million forgery scandal that shocked the art world and brought down NY’s most venerable gallery, Knoedler. Did those involved, including the gallery’s esteemed director, know they were fakes? Daria Price covers it all in this documentary about the greatest hoax ever of Modern American Art.

9. Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child (2010)

Director Tamra Davis pays homage to her friend and New York City painter Jean-Michel Basquiat. The film explores how he dealt with being a black artist in a predominantly white field. Davis takes us through Basquiat’s rise in the art world, and how the young painter coped with acclaim, scrutiny, and fame. But as a successful black artist, he also faced racism and misconceptions.

If you love and enjoy art, these movies and documentaries are sure to delight you with a dose of culture, excitement, and tears, while at the same time taking you deep into the life of famous painters and artists.