Wednesday, December 17

Goya's Ghosts.

House was a rerun this week. I thought I'd check out what movies were on cable instead.

I found one about Francisco Goya (the artist) and the Spanish Inquisition.

It wouldn't have been my first choice but it had film stars Natalie Portman (Ines), Javier Bardem (Brother Lorenzo), and Stellan Skarsgard (Goya) in it.

A Spanish film directed by Milos Forman (Amadeus, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest).

It is filled with beautiful period art and the camera work is such that some scenes and characters look like they are pieces of artwork themselves.

The plot jumped around but it was interesting enough to keep my interest.

Goya is the official court painter to the King and Queen. The Spanish Inquisition is disturbed by some of his works but he seems to escape any direct conflicts.

Portman plays a young model for artist Goya. She is falsely thrown into prison for religious reasons and Brother Lorenzo (who had originally commissioned a painting from Goya) tries to help her out.

I learned a few things about Goya also: he was deaf (later years of his life), his portraits had a disinclination to flatter (see below), and some of his work was really dark. And some reminded me of Bosch's Garden of Earthly Delights (which was mentioned and shown in the movie):
From so what the fuss

I liked the comments made on this portrait below (looking closely, Goya certainly didn't flatter any of them):

The Family of Charles IV, 1800. Theophile Gautier described the figures as looking like "the corner baker and his wife after they won the lottery".

From so what the fuss

Link to the movie and reviews at Rotten Tomatoes: Link

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