American realist artist, Edward Hopper, got a couple of mentions on Mikethep’s Vermeer thread this week. To take just one example, Tom Waits’s live album Night Hawks at the Diner is named after his most famous painting.
This morning, as I sat down in the dentist’s chair, Ed suddenly made another appearance. The dentist always has the radio on in the surgery, and today there was an excellent programme on Hopper’s enormous influence, not least on the cinematic arts. While she worked on my teeth, I lay there and learnt more about Mr H.
Hopper was a keen cinema goer and he inspired many directors. The house in Psycho, many of the scenes in Siodmak’s The Killers, Boorman’s hard-as-nails gangster thriller Point Blank: all owe a great debt to his paintings.
Philip French wrote an excellent piece on this: see Comments.
Less predictably, that marvel of Swedish cinema, Roy Anderson, who was interviewed for the programme, was rapid to acknowledge his debt to Hopper:
“These paintings are condensed, purified—what isn’t necessary for the picture is subtracted—as in cartoons. I try to reach that level of concentration.”
Predictably, my question to you is: which other artists, photographers, comic book writers can you think of that have had a significant effect on the visual style of certain movies?
Greenaway’s love of pastiches, the recent Dr Strange movie which revelled in its homage to Steve Ditko and the Vermeeresque Girl with the Pearl Earring are the first things that come to my mind.
Anything you can think of?