El artista y la modelo (The Artist and the Model) (2013)
Summer of 1943. In an occupied France, not far away from the Spanish border, a famous old sculptor who is tired of life and wars finds the desire to work on his last masterpiece when a beautiful young Spanish girl comes knocking after escaping a refugee camp in the South of France.
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Critic Reviews for El artista y la modelo (The Artist and the Model)
This film has its own nature, almost its own reality. The sudden finish almost seems meant to make it our responsibility to comprehend the whole.
That old arthouse chestnut, about the restorative power of naked young women, gets another outing in this pretty but superficial musing on the creative process.
The film's insights about beauty are ... superficial. They amount to such commonplace observations as the fact that no two leaves are alike.
"The Artist and the Model" is a contemplative ode to creativity and imagination.
It is about inspiration and beauty, of course - and Folch, as a vagabond who escaped from a Spanish refugee camp, is certainly inspiring and beautiful.
Partly about the importance of fresh observation, the film has little new to say about life, inspiration or art.
Shot in stately black and white, as if overeager to mitigate any hint of prurience.
For anyone who has actually created something -- or been frustrated by their inability to do so -- Fernando Trueba's film stands to offer a dose of quiet resonance.
While these ruminations on life, death, art and suchlike don't necessarily say anything original, they're nonetheless uttered eloquently ...
What The Artist and the Model does boast are generous performances and the odd flash of inspiration.
A whimsical black-and-white meditation upon the nature of art, set in rural southern France during the second world war.
Folch, without a stitch on most of the time, holds her own against these screen titans, and the luminous black-and-white cinematography helps conjure a fable-like air.
The film takes time to get going. There is reward eventually, though: in Rochefort's plain but noble-nosed suffering, in some acute dialogue about the pains and paradoxes of art creation.
Beautifully shot in black and white The Artist And The Model offers a mature, touching reflection on the eternal bonds between art and life.
In the absence of much dramatic heft, its complacent beauty soon wears off; set it against Rivette's La Belle Noiseuse, a far more rigorous interrogation of this dynamic, and it's but a lightly shimmering afterthought.
Oscar winning Spaniard Fernando Trueba ponders the relationship between artist and muse, and in glistening black and white.
Following Renoir and Summer in February, The Artist and the Model explores the relationship between an artist and their nude model, though this is by far the most accomplished and touching of the lot.
The story has meaty concerns - the artist's quest for inspiration, the place of art in a world at war - but its leisurely pace too often feels like padding.
Shot in magisterial black-and-white, veteran director Trueba's drama is a welcome return from the Belle Epoque man.
Audience Reviews for El artista y la modelo (The Artist and the Model)
"The Artist and the Model" starts with Lea(Claudia Cardinale) noticing Merce(Aida Folch) sleeping in a doorway in occupied France. It turns out that Merce is a refugee from Franco's Spain, having spent some time in a camp. Sensing an opportunity, Lea offers Merce room, board and a little money in exchange for posing nude for her husband Marc(Jean Rochefort), a sculptor, which she accepts. Lea is right that Merce is the right physical type for her husband's artwork, even though Merce wish nobody else would stop by.
As far as diversions go, "The Artist and the Model" is a perfectly respectable and pleasant one, filmed in black and white with a few old school dissolves to boot. While it may seem strange for such a story to be set during World War II, just remember that wars are not always fought without a break. And I like Marc's original take on the biblical creation of men and women, as this is not the first time a Garden of Eden analogy could be applied to nude posing.(As somebody else once pointed out, "Sirens" would be the other movie.) At first, the camera respects Merce's initial reticence at posing before she becomes much more comfortable, eschewing a fig leaf, and even sleeping in the buff.
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