Art is one of the ways people communicate with one another. Every work of art brings the viewer to into a special kind of relationship, both with whoever has created or is creating the art and also with everyone else who—together with him, or before or afterwards—is subject to that
artistic impression.
—Leo Tolstoy

It would be a mistake to ascribe this creative power
to an inborn talent.
In art, the genius creator is not just a gifted being, but a person who has succeeded in arranging for their appointed end, a complex of activities, of which the work is the outcome, requiring an effort.
—Henri Matisse

Art is so varied that to reduce it to any single purpose, be it even the salvation of mankind, is an abomination before the Lord.
—Nikolai Gumilev

Conception, my boy, fundamental brain work,
is what makes all the difference in art.
—Dante Gabriel Rosetti

Art is art.
Everything else is everything else.
—Ad Reinhardt

It is art that makes life, makes interest, makes importance…
and I know of no substitute whatever
for the force and beauty of its process.
—Henry James

It's not what you look at that matters,
it's what you see.
—Henry David Thoreau

Diverging Perspectives 2.2

Filming the French Romantics

Diverging Perspectives 2.1 zooms in on French Romanticism, looking at one great work that heralds the movement, another from the heart of the period, and one from Romanticism's dark final phase:

  • The Abbé Prévost's intriguing and controversial Manon Lescaut
  • Carmen, by Prosper Mérimée
  • Stendhal's trenchant and troubling The Red and the Black

As always: this is heady stuff, highly literary art—how can we adapt not just the storyline, but the art in the words themselves, to the moving image?

A filmmaker, writer, or other expert in cinema and literature is invited to help us all to answer that question in a personal introductory talk before every Diverging Perspectives film. And the whole audience is invited to participate in a guided discussion following every Diverging Perspectives screening. It is a memorable educational and interactive happening that opens new worlds of great art for audiences.

Contrasting filmings of each novel or tale generate a uniquely fascinating theater experience. Diverging Perspectives provokes the audience to consider crucial questions about the very nature of these to art forms—what cinema and art really are, what is being adapted the interrelationships among different art forms, whether the divide can be bridged—and, if so, how.

Diverging Perspectives is an ongoing experiment in cinema and literature. Each Diverging Perspectives series features cinematic premieres, hard-to-find or little known curiosities, beloved stars in unexpected roles, films by important directors, and top-flight cinema.