Movie Diary 6/15/2020


A Muse (Jimmy Bontatibus, 2020). Two narratives, connected by a young Romanian artist named Adrian (Rares Andrici), run along parallel lines. One is in Romania in 2015, where Adrian tries on documentary filmmaking with a girlfriend, Bianca (the excellent Miriam Rizea), who is left puzzled by Adrian’s disappearances. The other line is in Hamburg in 2018, where Adrian, now “disappearing” into a murky art project involving Tinder dates, is abetted and interrogated by the Bosnian-born Mia (Mersiha Husagic), who acts in his collective art project. Adrian may be the common character, but the perspectives are from the two women, which allows the movie to elude any kind of conventional Portrait of the Artist familiarity – even if the many scenes of videotaped (is that still the right term?) conversations/interviews have perhaps an overly familiar air about them. Another connective tissue is Yves Klein Blue, a color that Adrian and Bianca experiment with and which the movie allows to wash over its images at times; Adrian uses Klein as another muse (documentary footage of Klein threads through the movie, the way it would through the mind of a young artist grasping for inspiration). A Muse was written and directed on a low-budget film by a former Seattle filmmaker who emailed me the link and told me he came to talks I gave at the Frye Art Museum earlier in the decade (when he was in high school!), including one on Chantal Akerman, so I felt obliged to watch his movie. I’m glad I did. It’s gorgeously and searchingly shot, and delivers the spectacle of young Europeans living what David Lynch calls the art life. Until June 12 it’s free on Vimeo, here.


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