The British director Peter Greenaway is planning a film about the Romanian-born sculptor Constantin Brâncuși (1876-1957). According to FilmNewEurope.com, it is currently titled “Brâncuși From Bucharest to Paris” and will follow the epic journey taken by the 28-year-old artist in 1904. He is said to have walked most of the way to Paris, traveling from Romania via Budapest, Vienna, Munich, Zurich, Basel, and Langres, supporting himself as a farm laborer en route.
Doubtless Greenaway will be less concerned with the rudiments of the trek-cum-pilgrimage than how it informed Brâncuși’s vision as a revolutionary modernist — though one who emotionally adhered to his rustic roots as the son of peasants.
Greenaway’s film is in the early stages of development. Only one company, Romania’s Abis Studio, is so far involved in what will need to be a European co-production. FilmNewEurope reports, “The news of Peter Greenaway prospecting the possibility of filming in Romania came at the third edition of [the] Bucharest International Experimental Film Festival,” at which he screened his latest film, “Goltzius and the Pelican Company.”
This movie is based on the exploits of the Dutch painter and engraver Hendrik Goltzius (1558-1617). Played by Ramsey Nasr, Goltzius tempts the Margrave of Alsace (F. Murray Abraham) to pay for a printing press to publish his erotic illustrated books, including one dedicated to stories from the Old Testament. The Margrave is especially enticed by Goltzius and his company’s mounting of dramatized versions of these stories for his court.
“Goltzius” is the second film in Greenaway’s “Dutch Masters” series. The first, “Nightwatching” (2007), is about Rembrandt’s creation of “The Night Watch.” (I reviewed the associated documentary, “Rembandt’s J’Accuse,” here.) The third film in the series is intended to coincide with the 500th anniversary of Hieronymous Bosch’s death in 2016.
Greenaway’s other art-related projects include a series of digital video installations titled “Nine Classical Paintings” revisited. It has so far included “The Night Watch,” da Vinci’s “The Last Supper,” and Veronese’s “The Wedding at Cana.” The series may eventually include works by Picasso (“Guernica”), Seurat, Pollock, Manet, Velásquez, and Michelangelo.
He is currently in pre-production on “Eisenstein in Guanajuato,” about the Soviet filmmaker’s legendary trip to Mexico, which I reported on for artinfo here.
Images from top: Photo by Edward Steichen, courtesy Wikipedia; Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images
Tags: Constantin Brâncuși, Diego Velásquez, Edouard Manet, Georges Seurat, Graham Fuller, Hendrik Golzius, jackson Pollock, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Pablo Picasso, Paolo Veronese, Peter Greenaway, Rembrandt, Sergei M. Eisenstein