Free Film Series Begins with Rembrandt at the Clark March 2

For Immediate Release

February 23, 2007

From touching portrayals of Rembrandt to Gerard Depardieu’s flamboyant Cyrano de Bergerac to the confines of Delft society in Girl with a Pearl Earring, a variety of serious and farcical themes will be explored during the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute’s winter film series. The films explore life in the time of Claude Lorrain, the artist featured in the current special exhibition Claude Lorrain—The Painter as Draftsman: Drawings from the British Museum on view through April 29. Films are free and held on selected Fridays at 4 pm.

First in the series is Rembrandt (1936, 85 min., not rated) on March 2. Charles Laughton is magnificent as the great but embattled Dutch painter. His wife Elsa Lanchester plays Rembrandt’s beloved Saskia. Directed by Alexander Korda with care and sensitivity, this is one of the peaks of British cinema.

March 9 brings Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003, 99 min., rated PG-13) to the big screen. Vermeer’s famous painting and 1665 Delft are brought to life by director Peter Webber from the novel by Tracy Chevalier. Colin Firth plays the painter, and Scarlett Johansson is his servant Griet, who acts as his model and assistant.

Catch The Draughtsman’s Contract (1982, 103 min., rated R) on March 16. When a haughty artist, played by the provocative Anthony Higgins, is commissioned by a prosperous landowner’s wife to do renderings of their English estate, the strange details of the artist’s contract emerge. Written and directed by Peter Greenaway.

Remaining films in the series are Carnival in Flanders (La Kermesse Heroique) (1935, 115 min., not rated) on April 6, Cyrano de Bergerac (1990, 138 min., rated PG) on April 13, and All the Mornings of the World (Tout les Matins du Monde) (1992, 115 min., not rated) on April 20.

Extraordinarily beautiful drawings by the great 17th century French artist Claude Lorrain, drawn from the incomparable collection of the British Museum, are featured during Claude Lorrain — The Painter as Draftsman: Drawings from the British Museum. Claude, who invented the “modern” landscape, changed how people viewed the natural world and influenced landscape artists for generations to follow. The exhibition traces Claude’s direct response to the topography and atmospheric effects characteristic of the Roman countryside and reveals the artist’s working process from preparatory sketches through final oil paintings.

The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown. The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm (daily in July and August). Admission is free November through May. Admission June 1 through October 31 is $12.50 for adults, free for children 18 and younger, members, and students with valid ID. For more information, call 413-458-2303 or visit www.clarkart.edu.

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