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Observant Filmmaker Reveals Movie Scenes Directly Influenced by Iconic Paintings

They say that life imitates art—and, as evident in filmmaker Vugar Efendi’s passionate project, Film Meets Art II, apparently the silver screen does, too.

As a film fanatic, Vugar writes, directs, produces, and edits short videos. His eclectic portfolio presents a wide range of material, from documentaries to experimental compilations. Earlier this year, he released Film Meets Art, a captivating piece that explores the relationship between fine art and cinema. Featuring excerpts from well-known movies like Django Unchained and Psycho as well as work from renowned painters like Leonardo da Vinci and Sandro Botticelli, the three-minute film combines two of Vugar’s passions: art and, of course, film.  Following the project's success—and Vugar’s claim that “there are plenty of movies more to include”—he debuted a second installment, Film Meets Art II.

Like its prequel, Film Meets Art II features skillfully compiled, side-by-side comparisons of well-known movie scenes and the iconic paintings that inspired them. While the likeness between some of the juxtaposed works is obvious—like the sentimental scene from Steven Spielberg’s Empire of the Sun and the nearly identical Norman Rockwell painting that served as its museothers are a bit less clear, like The Exorcist’s subtle reinterpretation of René Magritte's L'Empire des lumières, and Metropolis’ understated homage to Brugel.

Whether crystal clear or more surprising, each captivating comparison spotlights Vugar’s astute and artistic eye, and once again illustrates his belief that “all art forms feed off from each other, and film is no different.”

Above image: Jacques-Louis David, Napoleon Crossing the Alps (1801) and Sofia Coppola, Marie Antionette (2006)

Jacques-Louis David, La mort de Marat (1793) and Alexander Payne, About Schmidt (2002)

Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, La petite baigneuse – Intérieur de harem (1828) and Jean-Luc Godard, Passion (1982)

Jean-Hippolyte Flandrin, Jeune homme nu assis au bord de la mer (1836) and Paul Thomas Anderson, There Will Be Blood (2007)

Norman Rockwell, Freedom from Fear (1943) and Steven Spielberg, Empire of the Sun (1987)

John Constable, Malvern Hall, Warwickshire (1809) and Stanley Kubrick, Barry Lyndon (1975)

Otto Dix, Portrait of the Journalist Sylvia von Harden (1926) and Bob Fosse, Cabaret (1972)

René Magritte, L'Empire des lumières (1954) and William Friedkin, The Exorcist (1973)

Pieter Bruegel the Elder, The Hunters in the Snow (1565) and Andrei Tarkovsky, The Mirror (1975)

Pieter Bruegel the Elder, The Tower of Babel (1563) and Fritz Lang, Metropolis (1927)

Vugar Efendi: Website | Vimeo | Youtube

My Modern Met granted permission to use media by Vugar Efendi.

Kelly Richman-Abdou

Kelly Richman-Abdou is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. An art historian living in Paris, Kelly was born and raised in San Francisco and holds a BA in Art History from the University of San Francisco and an MA in Art and Museum Studies from Georgetown University. When she’s not writing, you can find Kelly wandering around Paris, whether she’s leading a tour (as a guide, she has been interviewed by BBC World News America and France 24) or simply taking a stroll with her husband and two tiny daughters.
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