Entertainment

Helping Monet make an impression with a brand new audience

Cineplex at front of push to turn the movie theatre into a fine arts gallery as I, Claude Monet brings masters' works to the big screen.

Phil Grabsky’s I, Claude Monet brings the French master’s most iconic works to movie theatres, including Impression at Sunrise.

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Phil Grabsky’s I, Claude Monet brings the French master’s most iconic works to movie theatres, including Impression at Sunrise.

For many people, going to the cinema to admire old paintings probably sounds pretty boring. But veteran filmmaker Phil Grabsky sees it another way.

“The music of Mozart or the paintings of Monet are extraordinary and something we can indulge ourselves in and be motivated by,” insisted the award-winning director recently from London. “And at the cinema, where you’re not distracted by your phone for 90 minutes, you’ll be moved by it.”

Sparked by this theory, Grabsky has teamed up with international galleries to bring art lovers unprecedented access to the world’s greatest artwork on the big-screen. His latest film — I, Claude Monet — uses 2,500 narrated letters to accentuate the stunning work of one of French Impressionism’s founding fathers.

“Obviously I’ve got lovely visuals to work with,” said Grabsky. “It’s a film to see in the cinema because many of us know some of the works of Claude Monet but to look at them again fresh, you do get a sense of just why he was an extraordinary painter.”

Premiering on Feb. 22 as part of Cineplex’s In The Gallery event series — I, Claude Monet may shed insight on the French painter but it’s also about introducing art to the mainstream.

“We’re trying to find another audience that doesn’t want to see Thor,” said Cineplex Events VP Brad LaDouceur, whose aim was to boost attendance on quieter evenings through those “who want to see artists.”

“You go to the movies and it’s a great way to escape the everyday world, but what’s great about the programming that Cineplex events does is how we can add to your knowledge of a genre, of an artist or a ballet company.”

Going to today’s theatre to view 19th century compositions is also a relatively modern affair. Not only are crowds booming for the gallery series but the experience may actually aid the enjoyment of the art itself.

“I went to see the Mona Lisa (and) I felt like I was being pushed out,” recalled LaDouceur of a crowded visit to The Louvre in Paris. “But when you see your first gallery presentation, you don’t have the crowds (and) you’re going to get a high-definition shot of some of the most brilliant pieces.”

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