Throughout the course of the experimental film ‘Shirley, Visions of Reality‘ Australian filmmaker Gustav Deutsch and cinematographer Jerzy Palacz meticulously recreate 13 Edward Hopper paintings. The cinematography is bold yet soft, almost painterly. Hopper, a painter famous for his rendering of modern American life, is now strung into Deutsch’s vision of an American actress’ story as she progresses from the ’30s to the ’60s.
The film is arranged in such a way, that each Hopper-inspired scene occurs in the year it was painted, contextualizing the paintings historically as well as within Deutsch’s imagined narrative. Deutsch gives Hopper’s paintings a before-and-after context by following the chronological narrative of the life of the socially active Shirley, and her observations from the depression all the way to Vietnam.
You can compare the film scenes to the paintings below.