Monday, April 4, 2011

Ephemera-filled Movies

Brian and I actually had a weekend that was completely ours - that happens VERY rarely!  So what do we do when we have so much time?

We watch "stash" movies.  :D

What's a "stash" movie?  Well, back when Brian and I had a lot more disposable income we would just buy movies that we enjoyed and knew we'd watch more than once.  The early Aughts were a GREAT time for movies, in our opinions; quirky indie films were actually getting made, as opposed to now when it's just a bunch of sequels (yes, they're still being made but it's pretty rare). 

The two movies we watched this weekend we hadn't seen since November of 2009 - before I left my job at The Reporter (yes, we are uber geeks who actually keep track of when we watch our movies).  Friday night we watched "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" and Saturday's feature was "Ghost World".  I had never viewed these two back-to-back like that so I guess I never noticed the "art" similarities before.

If you've never seen these movies and you like funky plotlines, I highly suggest both.  "Eternal Sunshine" features Jim Carrey (his best acting ever, in my opinion) and Kate Winslett with a great American accent (also fantastic acting).  They both get their memories erased of each other because of their painful breakup.  Part of the erasing process is to rid themselves of all of the things from their relationship, including all of the sketches and paintings he'd done and the ephemeral remains of their lives. 

"Ghost World" is about two best friends (Thora Birch and a VERY young Scarlett Johansson) who have just graduated high school. Their idea of a fun time is to hang out and observe the bizarre and misfit people in their neighborhood.  Thora's character, Enid, is never without her art journal.  She also meets Seymour (an AWESOME Steve Buscemi) who is a voracious collector of all things vintage, mainly 78 records.  His room is filled with the ephemera he's collected over the years - posters, Cook's Chicken (fake) memorabilia (which has a racist past that is real) and other vintage items. 

I knew there was art featured in both movies but now that I'm neck-deep in art every day I paid more attention this time.  In both movies, a journal is prominently featured and is an intrinsic part of the plot.  The journals contain sketches, of course, but also ticket stubs, napkins, labels - all of that stuff that we keep to remind us of that period in our lives (in fact, "Ghost World" is based on the graphic novel series by Daniel Clowes, who also did the movie "Art School Confidential").  There is also a bus stop bench in "Ghost World" that is collaged beautifully!

I love it when movies show characters as artists - unfortunately, many times the artists are introverted or "weird" - which is totally okay but it's certainly not representative of artists in general! 

If you haven't seen either of these movies and you're in the mood for a quirky movie, run, don't walk to your nearest internet connection and put them in your Netflix queue.

Oh, and one last thing - if you have a movie that you love that's filled with art - share it with us!  I'm always on the lookout for fun movies to watch!  :D 


  1. Eternal Sunshine is one of my top favorite movies! Jim Carrey can be a great actor if given the right role (also like The Truman Show and The Majestic). I don't recall the other movie you watched, but now I'm interested.

  2. I like "What Dreams May Come" with Robin Williams, though not makes use of paints!

  3. also Richard Linklater films, which have that cool technology that seems to paint over the actual's like a paint by numbers.