Imagery sells art film

Boobs. Sex. More sex. Violence. A whole boatload of nakedness. Art flick.

Can you decide which one does not belong? Art flick. So why does it belong?

Last Wednesday night, the Art Student Association (ASA), an on-campus society that welcomes all students who are interested in art, began its weekly film screenings in Forcina Hall by showing “Artemisia,” the torturous but true story of Artemisia Gentileschi, the first female artist to be enrolled at the Academy of Florence, as well as the first female painter to be commissioned for her work.

“We’re showing this movie because it’s required for (my freshman seminiar class) and because it’s a great movie. I think it will help us attract new members to ASA,” Jessica Allen, senior fine arts major and executive member of ASA, said.

Allen said that students do not have to be art majors to join.

Agnes Merlet’s “Artemisia” is the kind of movie that will strike a chord with college students, despite the fact that it’s set in the 17th century and all the dialogue is in French. Many of the themes are extremely easy to relate to, as the teenage Gentileschi finds herself contending with the uncertainties of love and sex and the thin line between the two. She is also forced to face up to the possibility that her passions and dreams may be unrealistic. Despite her obvious talent, Gentileschi is rejected from the Academy because she is a woman.

If the themes don’t bring the viewers, then the relentless lead character Gentileschi will. She is resolute throughout the movie, always focused on her goal of artistic success. When her eventual teacher and lover Agostino Tassi rejects her as his pupil, she says, “I’ll surpass you one day. You will come and ask to be my pupil.”

In addition, the graphic visual imagery is one of the selling points of the movie.

“I thought the graphicness of the movie was necessary to represent the true nature of Artemisia Gentileschi’s life,” Umut Akdemir, a Ewing resident who attended the screening, said. “It really helped the flow and showed contrasts in societal values.”

Gentileschi is a poignant, intellectual piece, and it’s just a little slice of what ASA has to offer in the coming weeks.

“We’ll be showing ‘I Shot Andy Warhol’ next week,” Allen said. “We’re also running an open mic night for poets, musicians and performers of all kinds on Oct. 28 at 8 p.m. in Forcina Hall.”

Allen also said that the ASA plans to expand on the concept of the Wednesday night film screenings. In November, they will give students a chance to show their own independent films.

“We’re really just trying to represent the other side of the school, the stuff that’s not all business and science,” Allen said.