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 1.1

Russian, Romantic to Modern

Diverging Perspectives is an ongoing experiment in cinema and literature. Taking on classics of a selected literary tradition, Diverging Perspectives pits directors native to that culture against their fellow directors from the world over. The Diverging Perspectives series feature cinematic premieres, hard-to-find or little known curiosities, beloved stars in unexpected roles, films by important directors, and top-flight cinema.

It’s all about the impossible mission to translate the art of words—colorful narration, puns and other forms of word-play—to the moving image.

ALL FILMS are for the ENGLISH-SPEAKING public and are subtitled wherever necessary.

In this original series of Diverging Perspectives, selected directors engaged three indisputable but very different literary masterpieces:

  • The Overcoat,” by the eccentric and iconic Nikolai Gogol.
  • Fyodor Dostoevsky's titanic The Brothers Karamazov.
  • Russia's favorite novel of the twentieth century, Bulgakov's magical and mystical The Master and Margarita.

As always: this is heady stuff, highly literary art—how can we transfer not just the storyline, but the sheerly verbal art, to the moving image?

Every Diverging Perspectives film screening is preceded by a personal introductory talk by a filmmaker, writer, or expert in the cinematic and literary arts. And every Diverging Perspectives screening is followed by a guided open discussion for the whole audience.

It is a memorable educational and interactive happening that opens new worlds of great art for audiences.