Art in Film series documents creativity, 'the permanent revolution'

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"Art Is ... The Permanent Revolution."

That is the name of a documentary in the Art on Film series being presented in conjunction with the Three Rivers Arts Festival and you could say it's the unofficial theme, too.

A dozen films examine creativity and artists as diverse as Pablo Picasso, Dale Chihuly, Jean-Luc Godard and Bobby Liebling of the hard rock/doom metal band Pentagram. All are free -- except for the Film Kitchen contest involving stink bugs -- and will be shown at the Harris Theater, 809 Liberty Ave., Downtown.

Here is the lineup from Pittsburgh Filmmakers:


8 p.m.: "Gerhard Richter Painting" -- Filmmaker Corinna Belz provides a fly-on-the-wall perspective as the 79-year-old German artist (famously media shy) creates a series of large-scale abstract canvasses using fat brushes and a massive squeegee to apply and scrape off layer after layer of brightly colored paint. 102 min.


3 p.m.: "Looking for an Icon" -- Eddie Adams' indelible and Pulitzer Prize-winning photo of a communist guerrilla being executed in a Saigon street during the Vietnam War is among four images used to explore the meaning and importance of photojournalism. 55 min.

4:15 p.m.: "The Invisible Frame" -- A year before the collapse of the Berlin Wall, filmmaker Cynthia Beatt made a short documentary with actress Tilda Swinton surveying the barrier on bicycle. Two decades later, they revisit the remnants of the border and explore the changing landscape on both sides of the wall. With English subtitles. 60 min.

5:30 p.m.: "Chihuly Fire and Light" -- Many visitors to Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in 2007 discovered the extraordinary work of Dale Chihuly, the undisputed king of the glass art world. This hourlong film examines his use of neon lights, his collaborative qualities and his marriage of the natural world with fantasy. 58 min.

6:45 p.m.: "Marcel Ophuls and Jean-Luc Godard: The Meeting in St-Gervais" -- In 2009, in a small theater in Geneva, Switzerland, film directors Marcel Ophuls and Jean-Luc Godard met for an unusual, surprisingly intimate and sometimes contentious dialogue. With subtitles. 44 min.

7:45 p.m.: "The Way Things Go" -- Without narration or interviews, this 30-minute film records the performance of Swiss artists Peter Fischli and David Weiss' most ambitious construction: 100 feet of physical interactions, chemical reactions, and precisely crafted chaos worthy of Rube Goldberg or Alfred Hitchcock. 30 min.

8:30 p.m.: "Art Is ... The Permanent Revolution" -- Three contemporary American artists and a master printer help explain the dynamic sequences of social reality and protest. Among the wide range of 60 artists on display are Rembrandt, Goya, Daumier, Kollwitz, Dix, Masereel, Grosz, Gropper and Picasso. 82 min.


3 p.m.: "Marcel Ophuls and Jean-Luc Godard: The Meeting in St-Gervais."

4 p.m.: "The Way Things Go."

4:45 p.m.: "The Invisible Frame."

6 p.m.: "Art Is ... The Permanent Revolution."


6:30 p.m.: "Chihuly Fire and Light."

7:45 p.m.: "Last Days Here" -- Chronicle of cult metal legend Bobby Liebling's bid to resurrect his life and career after decades wasting away in his parents' basement. The musician made his mark in the '70s as the frontman of Pentagram but self-destruction, multiple band breakups and botched record deals condemned his music to obscurity. 90 min.


8 p.m.: Film Kitchen Competition -- Annual contest theme this year is stink bugs. Who can't relate to that? Evening will include prize-winning shorts along with a curated selection of short films. Reception at 7 p.m. precedes event. Admission, $8.


6:30 p.m.: "Looking for an Icon."

7:45 p.m.: "Eames: The Architect and the Painter" -- The husband-and-wife team of Charles and Ray Eames are widely regarded as America's most important designers. Their personal lives and influence on significant events in American life -- from the development of modernism, to the rise of the computer age -- have been less widely understood. James Franco narrates this look at the pair. 83 min.


6:30 p.m.: "Stolen Art" -- In New York City in 1978, unknown Czech artist Pavel Novak held an exhibit called "Stolen Art," which featured paintings by Rembrandt, Courbet, Van Gogh and other great masters, all reproduced with astonishing accuracy. After a claim by a private collector that one was stolen, the FBI shut down the show, and Mr. Novak disappeared. Years later, filmmaker Simon Backes looks at the scandal created by the outlaw artist. 56 min.

7:45 p.m.: "Last Days Here."


7:15 p.m.: "The Mystery of Picasso" -- In the 1950s, director Henri-Georges Clouzot positioned his camera behind a semi-transparent surface on which Pablo Picasso painted with special inks that bled through, providing a perfect reverse image of the artist's brush strokes and allowing the movie screen to double as the canvas. With subtitles. 76 min.

8:45 p.m.: "Between Madness and Art": An examination of the relationship between psychological states and the creative impulse, focusing on Dr. Hans Prinzhorn (1886-1933), director of the Heidelberg Psychiatric Clinic in the 1920s. He was fascinated by the beauty and expressiveness of the drawings, paintings and sculptures of his schizophrenic patients. With subtitles. 75 min.


3 p.m.: "The Mystery of Picasso."

4:30 p.m.: "Stolen Art."

5:45 p.m.: "Eames: The Architect and the Painter."

7:30 p.m.: "Between Madness and Art"


1 p.m.: Pride Week Short Films -- Shorts presented by the Lesbian and Gay Film Society.

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Movie editor Barbara Vancheri: or 412-263-1632. Read her blog: First Published May 31, 2012 4:00 AM


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