Last night, Dennis Paul, Chairman of React to Film, expressed the sentiment that when it comes to capturing the essence of a great artist, creating a snapshot of their life and work is a difficult task. But for directors Henry Joost & Ariel Schulman, Lace Acord, and Lucy Walker they rose to the challenge for LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum) and brought to life three wonderful short films inventively exploring the life and work of iconic artists John Baldessari, Ed Ruscha, and David Hockey.
With a mission to inspire people to become interested and connected in social issues, Reach to Film works to bring issue-based filmmaking to in the foreground and spark civic engagement. Partnering with LACMA, whose always had affinity for highlighting the best of cinema and the great minds behind it, last night the shorts screened at an intimate event amongst the swirling creative circus that is Art Basel Miami. Sponsored by BlackBook and Gemfields at the Delano Hotel, guests were treated to endless popcorn and cocktails before the filmmaker’s work showed outdoors as everyone paused from the insanity of the week’s events to enjoy a wonderful 15-minute series.
The first film React to Film screened was the energetic and pop-like short A Brief History of John Baldessari, by Henry Joost & Ariel Schulman aka Supermarché, narrated by Tom Waits. The 6-minute short documentary hightlight’s Baldessari’s “interest in language, both written and visual, raises questions about the nature of communication.”
The next was Lance Acord’s Ed Ruscha, Woody, and the World’s Hottest Pepper, a lyrical 7-minute look at Ruscha’s stunning work on the road and across the desert, exploring the artist’s “philosophical reflection about the relationship between words, things, and ideas.”
The final short to screen was the premiere of Lucy Walker’s delightful short documentary David Hockney in the Now. Showcasing the brilliance of legendary painter and photographer David Hockey, the short explores the way the artist has invented and inspired “new ways to depict movement through multiple perspectives of a singular event.” It was a fantastic night of film and fun with each film not only giving us an comprehensive and wonderfully entertaining look into Baldessari, Ruscha, and Hockney but gifting us with films that echoed the tone and voice of each iconic artist.