Found footage filmmaker Deutsch uses 13 of Edward Hopper’s paintings as tableaux vivants and starting points for an exploration of the troubled realities behind the artist’s serene solipsism. Re-presenting what appear to be private reflections as historic moments on August 28/29 in 1937, 1939, 1940, etc., Deutsch’s trajectory ends with the Civil Rights March in 1963. It helps to know both of Hopper’s reactionary misogyny and the director’s idealist counterpoint (a liberal feminist agenda). Then, it works.
Shirley: Visions of Reality | Directed by Gustav Deutsch (Austria 2013) with Stephanie Cumming, Christoph Bach. Starts September 18.
Originally published in issue #130, September 2014.