There’s no mystery as to why so many contemporary artists want to work with imagery that’s derived from the movies. Movie culture is just about the only artistic culture that is any longer capable of bringing together a broad range of the public. Talking about Daniel Day-Lewis’s performance as a paraplegic in My Left Foot, or our reactions to the black comedy of Paul Mazursky’s Enemies, a Love Story, offers us an easy, livery form of social interaction. As we find out what other people look for in a movie—they may be people we know at work, or relatives, or the parents of our children’s friends—we learn about one another’s sensibilities and tastes. A movie is an event in the culture at large; this is far less frequently the case with a ballet performance or an art show or even a best-selling novel. The visual artists who reach out to movie culture by borrowing images or iconography or...

 
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