VIDEO: Matt’s Wuthering Art #1 – Dead Christ (Perugino, 1496)

Happy new year!!! With the new year, I decided to inaugurate a new series where I look at individual paintings I encounter in my travels and talk about the painters who made them, plus reveal tidbits about their historical contexts. This series I decided to name “Matt’s Wuthering Art” after one of my favorite songs, Kate Bush’s “Wuthering Heights,” not because of the song itself but because in the album where it was included, The Kick Inside, she has this other song called “The Saxophone Song,” which opens with the lyrics:

“You’ll find me in a Berlin bar,
In a corner brooding.”

Somehow, those words ring true to me.

I filmed the first episode of this series in the Medieval art city of Perugia in Italy, while staying in a flat at the heart of its historical centre, just a few metres away from the Palazzo dei Priori. So, I thought it just about right to kick off with the best-known artist from the area, Pietro Vannucci, who in fact is also commonly referred to as Il Perugino, which literally means “the man from Perugia.”

Perugino was one of the biggest Italian artists of the Renaissance period, although he is best-known today as the mentor of Raphael, who in my books invented artistic “perfection.” The painting I use as a starting point to talk about Perugino is his Dead Christ, a part of his “Pala dei Decemviri,” which I had the pleasure of seeing with my own two eyes at the Galleria Nazionale dell’Umbria – a museum within the Palazzo dei Priori that exhibits much of the great art produced in the region of Umbria – from early Gothic to the Baroque.

Click here to buy my book of thoughts on film, Eye of the Beholder, on Amazon!

VIDEO: Matt’s Long Take #10: JENNIFER CUNNINGHAM

After taking a break from filming my Long Takes, focusing instead on other work, I decided to resume shooting my video series while in my hometown of Galway, Ireland. In fact, it seemed strange to me that this Long Take encounter with Irish artist Jennifer Cunningham should be the first one I filmed in the place where I grew up.

I found out about Jennifer’s exhibition while visiting the Facebook page of the Galway Arts Centre, where her new exhibition “Between Worlds,” was hosted. The exhibition was commissioned by the Baboró International Arts Festival for Children and Jennifer agreed to give me a tour of it.

During our Long Take, we got into some of the themes of her exhibition and the different materials, techniques and approaches she utilized in putting it together. Furthermore, Jennifer really opened up about the origins of her art career and some of her concerns about being an artist today.

For more information about Jennifer Cunningham and her work, visit her official website.

Click here to buy my book of thoughts on film, Eye of the Beholder, on Amazon!

VIDEO: Matt’s Long Take #9: H33

In my previous video with pianist/composer Eric Pan, I had talked about how strange it is to me when people demolish buildings that have no need to be demolished. This tour of H33, which I filmed while in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, proved to be relevant to this topic.

On this video, I was in fact given a tour of the city’s fascinating Social Innovation Hub in Cluj-Napoca set up by Dan Clinci and Horea Manea of Urbannect Association. Our guide is visual artist Puiac Virgil. Along the way, we also meet Carmiina Tarean, Simion Răzvan and Iulia Mircean and more people who are just some of the colourful folks who occasionally inhabit this place.

As I walked round to see the different creative spaces, markets and exhibitions in the complex, I gradually find out that this space would soon be demolished and that this would encapsulate in part what I aim to do with my Long Take series: to document what will, at some point, no longer be there.

For more information on H33 visit their official Facebook page.

Click here to buy my book of thoughts on film, Eye of the Beholder, on Amazon!

VIDEO: Matt’s Long Take #8: ERIC PAN

During my short trip to Berlin, Germany, I was determined to meet and film a musician. A friend of mine hooked me up with Eric Pan, a pianist/composer who also works a lot within the jazz spectrum and lives between Berlin and New York.

I met Eric a day prior to filming and during our chat and walk around the city, I realized that this would be a fascinating entry in my Long Take series. The next day, he was kind enough to invite me to his new flat, which he had just moved into, to film this episode.

In this Long Take, Eric spoke to me candidly about such themes as inspiration and spirituality, also revealing something about his projects past, present and future. In the end, I was even able to convince him to play a few notes on his piano.

For more info on Eric Pan and his projects, visit his official website.

Click here to buy my book of thoughts on film, Eye of the Beholder, on Amazon!

VIDEO: Matt’s Long Take #7: CEZAR-SEVERUS TOMOROGA

This year, I was invited once again to the Transilvania International Film Festival in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. I covered the festival for FRED Film Radio and in the end, I decided to prolong my stay in the city to about a month.

In between interview, I met Cezar-Severus Tomoroga in the yard of one of my main internet locations. i fortuitously found out about him being a graphic designer and it didn’t take me long to realize that it might be interesting to meet up and chat with him about some of his unique ideas for one of my Long Takes.

In this video, he shares some of his unique viewpoints on the art of 3D printing. He also talks with me about the origin of his interests in art and some of the hardships that he has had to overcome as part of running his own business.

For more information about his work, visit the official Facebook page of his business, Petadroid Production.

Click here to buy my book of thoughts on film, Eye of the Beholder, on Amazon!

VIDEO: Matt’s Long Take #6: WINYLOVE

For years, I have been a vinyl aficionado but have sadly have had to cut down on buying records as a result of my current nomad lifestyle. While staying the beautiful city of Wroclaw, Poland, I came across a few vinyl record store, interested in seeing with my own eyes the exclusive releases that came out as part of this year’s Record Store Day.

One of the stores I came across was Winylove, which was located in a bookstore, in a charming location that reminded me of some type of fantastic treehouse. On this Long Take, DJ Creon, a well-known and award-winning music artist in Poland, gave me a tour of the place, which he co-runs with an associate.

While there were some communication barriers – his English was not perfect and my Polish was non-existant – it’s interesting to see us try to communicate through the language of music. And while there, I got to flick through some vinyls and find out something about the Polish music scene old and new.

For more information on Winylove in Wroclaw, Poland, visit their official Facebook page.

Video: Matt’s Long Take #5: Christian Niccoli

Christian Niccoli is an Italian-born, Berlin-based artist who works across many sectors of the visual arts. I met him at his studio in the German capital for a chat and conversation over his works and working methods. Besides that, this interesting chat reminded me of one thing in particular: art-making is not only a dynamic process of evolution but also a lifetime commitment that very often also involves hard work and sacrifice. For more info on Christian Niccoli’s work, go to http://www.christianniccoli.eu/

Matt’s Long Take is a new web series by art reporter Matt Micucci documenting a series of encounters with artists and art institutions around the world. The use of the long take is inspired by André Bazin, who believed it to be an important tool in cinema’s ability to capture “reality.”

Video: Not a Film Review #1: What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael

My thoughts after attending my first screening of the 2019 Transilvania International Film Festival – What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael, a documentary directed by Rob Garver about Pauline Kael, one of the most famous and influential filmmakers of all time.

This is NOT a Film Review is a new video series where I collect my thoughts about a film, shortly after watching it. As usual, these videos are unscripted, uncut and unpolished. And they are also NOT reviews.

Click here to buy my book of thoughts on film, Eye of the Beholder, on Amazon!

Video: Matt’s Long Take #4: Tereza Füsterová

Tereza Füsterová is a model and photographer from one of my favorite cities in the world: Prague. Meeting her offered me an opportunity to get possibly my first insight in the world of fashion. It is common to think of this particular branch of the arts as the most superficial. However, Tereza’s views on it and modeling at large, as well as her emphasis on the importance of being “natural,” reveals to me a different side of it that I perhaps never knew existed.

Matt’s Long Take is a new web series by art reporter Matt Micucci documenting a series of encounters with artists and art institutions around the world. The use of the long take is inspired by André Bazin, who believed it to be an important tool in cinema’s ability to capture “reality.”

Video: Matt’s Long Take #3: Lucien Zell

Whenever I’m in Prague, one of my favorite cities in the world, my friend Lucien Zell is one of the first people I get in touch with. Lucien is a poet, author, photographer, singer and man full committed to what I refer to as the “art life.” The last time I was in Prague, I met him and documented our meeting with my camcorder. I noticed early on that something was off in the speed settings, but in the spirit of my Long Take series, I kept filming. I was happy to note that the error gives the video an unanticipated, dreamlike effect that is appropriate to this late-night conversation about art, culture and spirituality.

Matt’s Long Take is a new web series by art reporter Matt Micucci documenting a series of encounters with artists and art institutions around the world. The use of the long take is inspired by André Bazin, who believed it to be an important tool in cinema’s ability to capture “reality.”

Click here to buy my book of thoughts on film, Eye of the Beholder, on Amazon!