Shirley: Visions of Reality
Deutsch’s first feature film is released in EYE and national film theatres on 29 May. Gustav Deutsch is in EYE to attend the premiere of Shirley - Visions of Reality. Thirteen of Edward Hopper’s most famous paintings are brought to life in carefully designed vignettes by the charismatic Shirley, who takes us through three turbulent decades of American history.
The complementary programme for the premiere includes a screening of Deutsch’s FILM IST. a girl & a gun to live music and a master class by Deutsch and art director Hanna Schimek.
The Austrian director Gustav Deutsch achieved renown with his Welt Spiegel Kino (2005) and FILM IST. a girl & a gun (2009). His latest film, Shirley - Visions of Reality is a stylized ode to Edward Hopper. The sets in which the actors perform are exact reproductions of famous paintings by Hopper, including Office at Night, Western Motel, Usherette and A Woman in the Sun. Hopper for his part was inspired by the film noir. In paintings like New York Movie and Intermission, he integrated direct references to the cinema. Hopper in turn influenced filmmakers like Alfred Hitchcock, Jim Jarmusch, Martin Scorsese and Wim Wenders.
Hopper’s sharp contours, minimalistic composition, vivid colours and use of light have been meticulously imitated in Deutsch’s most recent film about the politically active actress Shirley (Stephanie Cumming). In the years between the 1930s and the early 1960s, Shirley hopes to make her mark on the course of history. As she does in the roles she performs, she wants to question, design and change reality. Major events in modern history pass by in short flashes of radio messages, from the Great Depression, the Second World War, the McCarthy era and racial conflicts to the Kennedy era and the civil rights movement.
27 May 19:15: E*Cinema- Gustav Deutsch meets Edward Hopper
Pre-premiere: 2 short talks and the opening of the Associative Image Atlas installation.The launching of this installation will be accompanied by live music of the American composer and performer Michael Moore.
Mark Paul Meyer (curator at EYE) talks about Deutsch’s method of re-using existing images: Hopper’s paintings in Shirley and silent film fragments in his earlier work. Meyer supported Deutsch in making his Film Ist series as collection curator.
Jan van den Brink (programmer and film specialist) focusses on Hopper and discusses the extent to which the painter was influenced by German Expressionism and Hollywood B films of the 1930s and 1940s. He also discusses Hopper as a source of inspiration for filmmakers, with many film excerpts as examples.
31 May 19:15: FILM IST. a girl & a gun with live music by Michel Banabila and Machinefabriek, who will be performing an original new score. Gustav Deutsch and Hanna Schimek are this evening’s special guests. The event is organized with financial support from CineSonic and the Goethe Institut Amsterdam.
31 May 21.30: Shirley – Visions of Reality, with an introduction by Gustav Deutsch and Hanna Schimek
3 June 19:15: Masterclass Visions of Reality by Deutsch and Schimek
On Gustav Deutsch
Gustav Deutsch made use of film fragments from EYE’s collections for his earlier work, including Welt Spiegel Kino (2005) and Film IST (1998), both of which were released by the Film Museum. Deutsch has been described as a ‘filmmaker without a camera’ and a ‘juggler of found footage’. Like an archaeologist of film, he offers the audience a perspective on film history, re-arranged according to his own insights. Lifted out of their original context, the images re-edited by Deutsch prove to have a new appeal. His previous highly original explorations of the history of film from its earliest beginnings showed us how to ‘re-view’ early cinema. For his first feature film, Shirley - Visions of Reality, Deutsch now reviews Edward Hopper’s paintings.