It's “a gorgeous documentary,” according to The New York Times. Igor Savitsky, an impoverished young painter, rescued thousands of banned masterpieces by Russian artists who were sent to gulags and mental hospitals, exiled, or executed during the early 20th Century. In "The Desert of Forbidden Art," directors Amanda Pope and Tchavdar Georgiev trace Savitsky's daring journey.
The film weaves screenshots of glorious paintings and rare historical footage with recollections by the artists’ children and passages from the artists’ diaries read in voice-over by Ed Asner, Sally Field, and Ben Kingsley. This remarkable film about creative freedom shows at the Seattle Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park on Wednesday and Thursday (April 6-7) at 7 p.m.
"American Heart: The Films of Jeff Bridges," a series co-produced by TheFilmSchool, kicks off with "The Last Picture Show" on Thursday (April 7) at Seattle Art Museum downtown. Movie critic Pauline Kael considers Oscar-winner Bridges ("Crazy Heart," 2010) to be the most natural actor ever to work in front of a camera, and he’s been called “the nicest guy in Hollywood.” Bridges’ onscreen power comes from a strong spiritual center. In an interview a few months ago he said, “One of the cool things about acting is to realize how accessible love is." When two actors succeed in "opening their hearts to each other, that feeling of compassion and understanding is really accessible and quite deep.”
Following "The Last Picture Show," the "American Heart" series will present "Fat City" (April 14), "Thunderbolt and Lightfoot" (April 21), "Cutter’s Way" (April 28), "Starman" (May 12), "The Fabulous Baker Boys" (May 19), "The Big Lebowski" (May 26), and "The Door in the Floor" (June 2).
If you go: "The Desert of Forbidden Art," 7-9 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday (April 6-7), Seattle Asian Art Museum, Volunteer Park. Tickets cost $7 ($4 for SAM members). "The Last Picture Show," opening the "American Heart" series, 7 p.m. Thursday (April 7) at Seattle Art Museum downtown. The series costs $60 ($50 for members of SAM, SIFF, Northwest Film Forum, and TheFilmSchool). All tickets are available at SAM ticket desks, by phone (206-654-3121), or online.