The Artist and the Model is a classic subject for an art flick. (Not a movie, not a film, A flick :) Imagine you are casting this in Europe in 2013 and you could have your choice of leads. The Artist is supposed to be an 80 year old sculptor; how about Jean Rochefort? His wife, how about Claudia Cardinale? Done. The model is played by an actress previously unknown to me, Aida Folch, but suffice it to say she holds her own against these two legendary thespians.
For director, how about the Oscar winning Fernando Trueba.?The setting for our flick is 1943 Southern France. Naturally, we have to shoot in black and white.
I don't know about you, but for me this is sufficient information to want to see this film. The beauty of this film is that it is spare and understated, and part of its success is due to this simplicity. I would go so far as to call this an instant classic. It is like a fable, timeless and profound.
Of course in my case, its special resonance came from being an artist myself, who happened to have posed for a sculpture with his ex when they were both young and beautiful in a pose not unlike the one that is the final choice for the artist in this film. And I was born in 1943, so I could certainly relate to being an aging artist. But even if none of this applies to you, anyone with an interest in art and a love of life will appreciate this work.
I loved it, all except for the ending. I won't spoil it for you, but go see this and we can discuss it. It's available streaming on Netflix.