The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Film installations bring Kimbell’s paintings to life

By Steve Knight/editor-in-chief

The newest exhibit at the Kimbell Art Museum may redefine the term art film.

Filmmaker Philip Haas, best-known for his Oscar-nominated feature film Angels and Insects starring Kristin Scott Thomas and Mark Rylance, brings art to life in Butchers, Dragons, Gods and Skeletons, a collection of film installations inspired by paintings in the museum’s collection.

Each installation contains a short film that brings the art work to realization, both visually and aurally.

In “The Butcher’s Shop,” Haas, who studied art history at Harvard before becoming a filmmaker, set Annibale Carracci’s 1580s painting in motion by filming two butchers working with various meats on one screen and the artist himself on a second screen painting the scene, becoming part of the work itself.

Haas depicted Giovanni Battista Tiepolo’s “Apollo and the Continents,” a sketch for a larger work at the Palazzo Clerici in Milan with classical mythological scenes portrayed on both walls and ceiling.

“My intention has been to create the film installation as if it were designed and directed by Tiepolo himself, translating painterly trompe-l ‘oeil into cinematic visual effect,” said Haas in a statement.

The film installation based on Belgian painter James Ensor’s “Skeletons Warming Themselves” takes us into the mind of the artist himself, portraying various images including a visit to a carnival with masks, skulls and skeletons, and encounters from the painter’s drunken father as if the film preceded the painting.

Haas also takes us on a journey to the Far East as a Chinese scroll painting from the early 14th century, “Arhat Taming the Dragon,” is recreated using images of a Buddhist monk fishing and weaving a scroll as they are projected onto a wooden shrine.

In “Red-Figure Cup Showing the Death of Pentheus,” Haas depicts the cup painted by the ancient Greek artist Douris like the cup itself, displaying images of Pentheus and Dionysus projected on a disk-shaped screen.

Alexander Balanescu, Angelo Badalamenti and Jeff Beal composed original music, adding distinctiveness to each installation.

What is especially unique about the exhibit is that the installations are not the exhibit itself, but complement the artwork that inspired them.

This new venture is a new departure for the Kimbell and possibly the first such exhibit in any museum.

Butchers, Dragons, Gods and Skeletons will be on display until Oct. 25. Admission is free.

The museum, located at 3333 Camp Bowie Blvd. in Fort Worth’s cultural district, is open Tuesday-Thursday and Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Friday noon-8 p.m., Sunday noon-5 p.m. and closed Monday.

For more information, call 817-332-8451 or visit the Web site at

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