Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Film Review - Generosity of Eye: Art Transformed into Education

by Gregg Chadwick

Generosity of Eye: Art Transformed into Education from brad hall (Full Film)

Generosity of Eye: Art Transformed into Education is a must watch documentary by Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Brad Hall that documents William Louis-Dreyfus, Julia's father,  as he explains why he decided to sell his bountiful art collection to benefit the Harlem Children's Zone - an educational program in New York, created by Geoffrey Canada to break the cycle of generational poverty for the thousands of children and their families in the Harlem community. 

Julia is often on screen with her father and their scenes together are rich with familial affection. As Julia interviews her father about the art that William has collected over the years and the artists who have created it, she is often overcome with emotion as she discovers the depth of her father's passion for art and for justice.

Geoffrey Canada, William Louis-Dreyfus, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus  

Julia says, "Dad doesn't just collect art, he collects the artists who create it." For her entire life, Julia's dad has collected paintings, sculptures, and works on paper. Currently, the collection has grown to over 3,000 pieces and includes artworks by Kandinsky, Dubuffet, Giacometti, George Grosz, Red Grooms, Robert Traylor, Catherine Murphy, Stone Roberts, Graham Nickson, Raymond Mason, Rackstraw Downes, Jean-Baptiste Sécheret, Nicola Hicks, Robert Birmelin, George Boorujy, Thornton Dial, and many others. 

In a telling scene in the film, William explains his thoughts on society's reaction to injustice:  "I think there are two types of people that make up our political outlook. One is a person who sees something happening and thinks that it might happen to him and therefore is worried about it. He notices it and thinks to himself,"That could happen to me." Therefore, he is against the injustice that is happening to a third party. And then there is another kind of person who looks at the injustice and says to himself,"Thank the Lord that is not happening to me." So the fact of it's happening to another person he is for. He is for it psychologically because by virtue of this happening to another person, it's not happening to him. The other guy is against it because when he sees it, he thinks it might happen to him. Therefore, he is against it." 

William's passions are inspiring: art, justice, and humanity.

Can we balance out the slate?

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