Friday, August 14, 2009

Fur? An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus?



I had never heard of this movie, starring Nicole Kidman and Robert Downey Jr in 2006. It's apparently about Diane Arbus, a photographer who (in the film) is obsessed with her neighbor who has "Wolf Man Disease" or Congenital Generalized Hypertrichosis. together, they go visit his world of "Freaks", nudists, armless, midgets and so on. (I know they're called Little People, but you get the point). She becomes facinated and then begins a career of photographing these types of people.



When I first saw the movie a few months ago as I was flipping thru movie channels, I was confused. Why on earth did these two actors accept these parts? It obviously didn't do well in theatres, and it's kind of really kooky. But then I watched it again the other night, and I think I might love it. The set design and wardrobe are IMPECCABLE. Everything you see is soooo rich and circusy and vintage and beautiful.



I looked for some more stills from the movie, but couldn't find many - and even fewer that captured the unbelievable set. So aside from the look, it's just the weirdest movie, about this woman. I'm super intrigued and bought a book of her photographs "Untitled" online yesterday.



I'm astonished that I haven't heard a word about this from anyone! Has anyone seen it out there? I really haven't made up my mind if I love the movie or not, but something has piqued my interest, and I think it was the design. At one point, (and I looked for a good picture of it) Robert Downey Jr takes Nicole Kidman out to see some friends and he puts on this ... bag/mask that he's sewn out of cotton, and it's the creepiest, most awesome mask ever!! My husband asked me to sew him something similar, I think I might actually do it - maybe for Christmas!



Nicole Kidman's dresses are to die for - and I don't even wear dresses.

And so, these are some of her photos, they make me so jealous - especially the woman in the wheel chair with the mask!! She taught photography at Parsons School Of Design in New York along with a few other schools, then slashed her wrists and took some pills while suffering from depression in the 1970s. You guys have probably way heard of her before, but she's brand new to me.

11 comments:

Carl V. said...

Nicole Kidman is far and away (pun intended) one of my favorite actresses. More often than not her outfits are so wonderful. Her clothes in Moulin Rouge, The Others, Bewitched, and obviously this film are just gorgeous. I'm going to have to check this one out.

a fanciful twist said...

I saw it when it first came out and I LOved it. I should watch it again... It was dark and comical in a way. Yet sad and poetic... Must watch again - I think at the time, all I wanted was to own his treasures - And, I may have cried at the ocean scene... Yes, indeed, a rewatch is in store for this one...

ps: I think you you MUST make your beau the head cover for Christmas ;)

Artfulife said...

I heard about the movie but haven't watched it yet. I love Diane Arbus' photos. when I was in art school I would check out her photography book over and over again and sketch the photographs. If you like her stuff you might enjoy some of Richard Avedons work. Avedons is a little less raw but his portraits are really lovely.

Artfulife said...

Opps, it's late...did I say Richard Avedon? Because that's who I meant. I'm such a dingbat :)

Alissa said...

I never heard of this movie until I saw it too on a movie channel. What a coincidence. Ha. I loved the color scheme and how circusy it was. It reminded me a lot like the movie Big Fish.

Blood Milk said...

absolutely one of my favorite movies. i love diane arbus! (even thou the movie has little historical accuracy.....) you should read her biography, its very moving and sad. i was recently obsessively rewatching it last month!
XO

mary catherine said...

i actually happened upon that movie a while back kinda how you did--and i was absolutely hating it the whole time too! but i have to say--my distaste for Nicole Kidman aside--it stuck with me but only visually. so you might be onto something about the design aspect. it was arresting visually, but kinda silly otherwise to me.

anyway, that's my two cents :)

Anonymous said...

The mask that he wears is captivating, I want one too. Let me know how it turns out when you make one for your husband...

tounyr@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

Just landed on your blog. Loved the film, and love Kidman in 'The 'Hours'

kc said...

You have a really interesting blog. :)

I won a pair of shoes on a Diane Arbus related bet. My photographer boyfriend would not believe me when I told him about a Mia Farrow photograph shot by D.A.

Apparently, she didn't just shoot "freaks"

I haven't seen the film but I want to!

maxbrandy said...

Hmmm...I was just doing a web search on Diane Arbus because I want to post an article about her and the film on my blog, and in the process I have just discovered your blog! I too have watched Fur recently and was glued to the screen for the entire film. I loved it! One thing that people must know is that the film is not a historical depiction of her life, nor is it based on her life, it was just inspired by it. I hope the film will inspire others to research Diane and to look at her incredible photographs :)