Fellow Film Club Members & Movie Buffs:
The Producer’s theme for this month is “RED: A planet, a desert, a color”.
R E D
The Fall Equinox is upon us, even though the autumn colors are slow to materialize secondary to our mild Indian Summer weather. Our Club Director, Jim Robbins, has filled in for a missing producer this month, & he realized that Grand’s Film Festival has left us without a long running film to choose as a theatrical pick. So as already announced, they have chosen Ridley Scott’s new film, THE MARTIAN (2015) as the theatrical pick this month.
With his audacious, creative & imaginative set of choices, Jim has decided to immerse us in both art & aesthetics; concerned with the study of the mind & emotions to the sense of beauty.
The theme, centered around the color Red, which happens to be my favorite hue; always has been. Some of you are aware that I just had my vehicle painted metallic fire engine red. Red, of course, is a color at the end of the spectrum, next to orange, opposite of violet. It is the hue of a long-wave end of the spectrum, evoked in the human observer by radiant energy with with wave length of approximately 630-750 nanometers. It is the complimentary color of cyan & forms a set of primary colors with blue & green.
Red is one of the most powerful & emotion-evoking colors. It can feel sweet & innocent when mixed with white, or bring about sharp responses when used in the purest form. With the addition of black, reds can create a darker emotional response, & can convey anger, power, or passion.
This theme, this October film club experience, started with Jim seeing the play RED. This is a two-person theatrical event written by John Logan–about the American artist, Mark Rothko.
The play opened in London in 2009, starring Alfred Molina as Rothko, & Eddie Redmayne as his assistant, Ken.
All the action happens in Rothko’s studio. It moved to Broadway in NYC in 2010. It won two Tonys, one for Best Play, & one for Eddie Redmayne for the Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role.
The first line in the play is, “What can you see?”
Josh Logan is a successful playwright & screenwriter.
His plays, enriched by the fact that he is openly gay, include NEVER THE SINNER, HAUPTMANN, RIVERVIEW, & RED. His screenplays include ANY GIVEN SUNDAY, RKO 281, GLADIATOR, THE AVIATOR, STAR TREK: NEMESIS, THE TIME MACHINE, CORIOLANUS, & THE LAST SAMURAI, but none of his achievements equals the raw intense power of RED.
“For anyone fortunate enough to have seen the Donmar Warehouse production of RED, it will come as no surprise that John Logan’s script yields fresh fruit with each new reading. As a literate & passionate exploration of the creative process, the play requires the most important aspect of art–the audience’s participation. The immediate focus is on artist Mark Rothko, but its ultimate concern lies far beyond the boundaries of one man’s canvas. RED is a masterpiece.”–Constance Arrows.
“There is only one thing I fear in life, my friend–that one day black will swallow the red.”–Mark Rothko.
Mark Rothko (1903-1970) was an American painter of Russian Jewish descent. Although he himself refused to adhere to any specific art movement, he is generally identified as an Abstract Expressionist–compared to Jackson Pollock, Paul Klee, & William de Kooning. He was one of the most famous of the post-war American artists.
He recommended standing at about 18” from his work in order to fully experience awe & intimacy, a transcendence of the individual & a sense of the unknown.
In 1940, concerned about Anti-Semitism in America, he changed his name from Markus Rothkowitz to Mark Rothko. In 1970, suffering from depression over his recent divorce & his fame, he seclude himself, & moved into his studio. His assistant found him dead in the kitchen, where he had overdosed on anti-depressants, & cut his arms up with razors.
“There is no such thing as a good painting about nothing.”–Mark Rothko.
“Art to me is an anecdote of the spirit, & the only means of making concrete–the purpose of its varied quickness & stillness.”–Mark Rothko.
“A painting is not about an experience–it is the experience.”-Mark Rothko.
“The people who weep before my pictures are having the same religious experience I had when I painted them.”–Mark Rothko.
“I am not an Abstractionist. I’m interested only in expressing basic human emotions.”–Mark Rothko.
“To paint a small picture is to place yourself outside your experience. However, one when you paint the larger picture, you are in it.”–Mark Rothko.
“To me, art is an adventure into an unknown world, which can be explored by those willing to take the risk.”–Mark Rothko.
“I think of my pictures as drama–the shapes in the paintings are the performers.”–Mark Rothko.
Jim’s original idea for this screening was to unearth a DVD copy of the play RED, but the only ones available were done by amateurs & audience members.
So he found some links to excerpts from the play, & he already owned a copy of the BBC DVD, Simon Schama’s POWER OF ART, with a 60 minute section on artist Mark Rothko. So this will be what we view at our first screening.
“Great art has dreadful manners,” Simon Schama observes at the start of his epic & explosive exploration of the power & the whole point of Art. “The hushed reverence of the gallery can fool you into believing masterpieces are polite things; visions that soothe, charm & beguile-but actually they are thugs.”
Jim Robbins, an artist & poet, wrote this haiku:
Red October’s Tacoma Film Club Haiku
Three silent chambers
Their sea waters deep and wide
A morning’s framed dawn
So, my goodness, do not miss this exciting artistic event. Mark your calendars for this Friday, October 2, 2015, & join us for the screening of this documentary on artist Mark Rothko. It will be shown at the Center for Spiritual Living (CSL), the church building we rent for our events. It is located at 206 North J Street on the corner of Division & J Streets, across from the Group Health Hospital.
Arrive early, around 6:30 pm, & join many of us downstairs in the kitchen area for fun, fellowship & snacks. It is permitted to bring snacks & beverages, including alcoholic ones, to share with others. There will be a Donation Box near the entrance to the sanctuary. All funds collected will go for paying the rent & other TFC expenses. No food or drink is allowed in the sanctuary during the screening. Jim Robins will give us some background on Red & Rothko before the film experience. The documentary runs only 60 minutes, so it will start around 8pm & be done just after 9pm.
See you at the movies!