Author Topic: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi  (Read 36706 times)

Offline chowhound

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The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« on: October 10, 2010, 05:19:21 pm »
I don't know how generally known is the connection between the "look" of the Twists' living room and the paintings of the 19th century Danish artist, Vilhelm Hammershoi. In case it's not generally known, I thought I'd post a section of an interview that Rodrigo Prieto, the director of photography, gave to the magazine, American Cinematography, in the January of 2006:

Their farmhouse is "very stark, with grayish-white walls," says Prieto. "I tried to do something very simple but with a powerful contrast, which is difficult to achieve in a white room, so I blew out the windows and made them bright spots while keeping dark shadows on the faces. For this scene, we were inspired by the work of Vilhelm Hammershoi, whose paintings are very moody but devoid of color. We used an 18K HMI as the main source, lighting from a large window next to the table where Jack's father talks with Ennis. The light was diffused with a 12-by-12 full grid that was as close to the window as the framing allowed in each shot. We had two 6K Pars over the smaller windows coming in as direct sunlight through the sheer curtains, and a 4K Par through the small window in the door. For close-ups, I added an Image 80 on the ground to give a sense of light bouncing off the floor, plus a single 2-foot Kino tube wrapped in 216 under the lens for a very slight glint in the eyes. The goal was to suggest that Ennis feels uncomfortable in the stale, monochromatic atmosphere."

I came across this in a review of an exhibition of his paintings put on in London a little while back. It may help to explain his appeal:

Hammershoi understands the power of negatives, the unsaid, the unshown. His art is full of refusals. The back-turned woman, revealing nothing of her mind; the unmotivated presence of these figures, haunting the rooms like ghosts; the doors  closed or ajar, implying something hidden beyond; the apartments' unexplained emptiness, occupied only by light, or with a few isolated signs of life, like the Mary Celeste.

Everything conspires to create a mood of absence, loss, denial. Somebody is dead. Somebody is abandoned. Somebody is fatally repressed. Life is on hold, proceeding in a reduced, trance-like manner. Behind the scenes, on everyone's mind, there's a secret.

And Hammershoi embodies the unending and the unknown with his walls – those blank, flickering expanses, stretches of nothing that face out, flat-on to the picture surface. The paintings' viewers, like the figures in them, do a lot of staring at walls.

It is an intensely narrow art. You might think of Jane Austen's phrase – "the little bit (two Inches wide) of Ivory on which I work with so fine a Brush" – but compared with Hammershoi's, her world is a herd
of elephants. And it's not just within the pictures that so little happens, but between them.

The second paragraph seems strangely apposite for the Twist household.

Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2010, 05:59:15 pm »
Very interesting, friend! You are quite a hound to sniff out these interesting stories! That description of the Twist house seems very Scandinavian and existential to me. What is a Mary Celeste? What a pretty name...is that another name for a crucifix??
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Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2010, 07:59:21 pm »
















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Offline Andrew

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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2010, 08:08:39 pm »
All right, the question about the Mary Celeste was directed to chowhound but I am going to toss manners out and link myself to the Wikipedia article.   Clearly this ship deserves to become a byword for what it symbolizes, and it is a very apt reference in the context of that review.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Celeste

Offline Meryl

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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2010, 08:20:17 pm »
Chowhound, thanks very much for the interesting background.  This is not the first time I've heard about Hammershoi in connection with the look of the Twist house, though I can't put my finger on which thread it might have been in.  At any rate, it only adds to the amazing artistic depth of the film.
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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2010, 08:21:01 pm »
Thanks, Andrew! Very intriguing!!  

This ties in with the Hidden Ocean theme.
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Offline Andrew

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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2010, 08:40:17 pm »
Posting those pictures wordlessly was metaphysically very appropriate given their style, John.

Now I am going to continue blathering away as if I missed the point !

Since Jane Austen's name was invoked, I can't just act as if it was not, I have to stop and acknowledge the relevance, even though this is a digression.


Austen was in fact a very spare writer, who worked for years pruning her first two novels until nothing inessential was left.

Architecturally, these nineteenth century Danish rooms were much like the rooms she lived in at Chawton and Steventon.  Her nephew James Edward Austen-Leigh wrote in his memoir,  contrasting the plainness of interiors in her time with the overabundance introduced by the Victorians, said,

"But a still greater difference would be found in the furniture of the rooms, which would appear to us lamentably scanty.  There was a general deficiency of carpeting in sitting-rooms, bed-rooms, and passages.  A pianoforte, or rather a spinnet or harpsichord, was by no means a necessary appendage.  It was to be found only where there was a decided taste for music, not so common then as now, or in such great houses as would probably contain a billiard-table.  There would often be but one sofa in the house, and that a stiff, angular, uncomfortable article.  There were no deep easy-chairs, nor other appliances for lounging; for to lie down, or even to lean back, was a luxury permitted only to old persons or invalids.  It was said of a nobleman, a personal friend of George III. and a model gentleman of his day, that he would have made the tour of Europe without ever touching the back of his travelling carriage.  But perhaps we should be most struck with the total absence of those elegant little articles which now embellish and encumber our drawing-room tables.  We should miss the sliding bookcases and picture-stands, the letter-weighing machines and envelope cases, the periodicals and illustrated newspapers—above all, the countless swarm of photograph books which now threaten to swallow up all space.  A small writing-desk, with a smaller work-box, or netting-case, was all that each young lady contributed to occupy the table."

Later he describes Austen's last illness,

"Gradually, too, her habits of activity within the house ceased, and she was obliged to lie down much.  The sitting-room contained only one sofa, which was frequently occupied by her mother, who was more than seventy years old.  Jane would never use it, even in her mother’s absence; but she contrived a sort of couch for herself with two or three chairs, and was pleased to say that this arrangement was more comfortable to her than a real sofa.  Her reasons for this might have been left to be guessed, but for the importunities of a little niece, which obliged her to explain that if she herself had shown any inclination to use the sofa, her mother might have scrupled being on it so much."









Offline Andrew

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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2010, 09:52:07 pm »
Some of the Hammershoi interiors have a few prosperous middle class touches, they are almost halfway back to the quiet peace of Vermeer.  Yes, 'back'.  Vermeer has a few pictures where we see the lady's back only.  And Hammershoi seems to have more.



And the third one John put up.


But the pictures which especially inspired the filmmakers were clearly the barer ones.


Surely, one of the art team from Brokeback Mountain had seen the 2001 Hammershoi show in New York or London, or the catalog?

That third picture shows only one plant in the room, not a little jungle of pots.  One desk, one bed.   It has the feeling of Fanny Price's little white attic bedroom in Austen's Mansfield Park, next to the disused schoolroom, with the geranium she tended.





And its plainer, poorer version is in the Twist household.






In those plain times, there would be only one  sofa, if you had one.  

One carefully tended house plant, if you had one.  

(One other loved human being, if you had one.)



Offline Marina

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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2010, 11:15:26 pm »
What an interesting thread - strikingly beautiful paintings.  Thank you!  :)
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Offline Sason

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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2010, 04:08:40 pm »
I love those bleak, stark paintings.

The BBM connection is very interesting.

Thank you so much for pointing this out, Chowhound.

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Offline Monika

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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2010, 04:13:29 pm »
this is all very interesting. Thanks

Offline Andrew

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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2010, 07:48:56 pm »
Your man in Boston (one of them) has found the Vilhelm Hammershoi in the Museum of Fine Arts.  This is a painting I have never seen before and which I am pretty sure has only fairly recently been hung as part of their regular rotation.  They say they have 450,000 objects, only a fraction of which can be shown at any time, though it will help a bit when they open their new wing in November, Art of the Americas, which allow them to show more of their American collection and will also free up some of the galleries where American art is now hung for European works.   This painting has actually been in their collection since the 1980's.  I am sure it has been up before, but I have not seen it.  If I had, it would definitely have registered on this lover of houses and light.

I'm just glad they let you photograph anything in their regular collection as long as you don't use flash or tripod.





This looks to be a good illustration of what Prieto was intending to achieve - 'For close-ups, I added an Image 80 on the ground to give a sense of light bouncing off the floor.'

The subject of this painting is certainly the light, bouncing first off the windowsill and floor, then back up the wainscoting with a sharp reflection which preserves the shadows of the window mullion and vertical muntins, and glowing up the door and off the pictures.

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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2010, 07:58:15 pm »
Beautiful! I'm glad as well that you're allowed to photograph it!!

There are two other scenes that come to mind...the telephone scene with Lureen surrounded by a backlight on her platinumed hair and the very last scene in the movie, where the light comes through the window and shines blue on the closet wall.  :P
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Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2010, 11:14:14 pm »


Jane's writing 'desk' at Chawton and...

« Last Edit: October 17, 2010, 12:39:04 am by Pooh MM Bear, Esq. »
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Offline chowhound

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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2010, 03:19:06 pm »
I notice that nobody - including myself - has commented on what Rodrigo Prieto says was the chief reason for making the living room look the way it does. He says: "the goal was to suggest that Ennis feels uncomfortable in the stale, monochromatic atmosphere."

Is this "goal" achieved? I suppose it is but I assume Ennis would have felt "uncomfortable", given the social situation he finds himself in, no matter what the setting. But I suppose this "uncomfortableness" is rendered more prominent by the stark Hammershoi type setting, rather than if the three of them had been  sitting in comfy armchairs by the farmhouse fire.

However, I think there's more to be said about the setting of this scene than what Rodrigo Prieto has to say in his brief comment.

Offline Andrew

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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #15 on: October 17, 2010, 07:51:37 pm »
Yes, for me they succeeded.  This has as much to do with the decor and costumes as the lighting.  The whole house is in that same blue white, as if you can see the grey-blue lead in the paint.  My mother, who grew up on a dairy farm, said the skim milk from which the cream had been churned out was called 'bluejohn' and was often given to the pigs.   It was probably also used to make milk paint.  Both the Twists are in dim blues and greys and their eyes also appear blue (his) and hazel (hers).    The light is in fact carefully controlled; it is a sunny day, but the curtains muffle the light, which is also as if bleached out by the brown land around the house.  Compared to the Hammershoi painting in the MFA Boston, the light is more lifeless, just as the room itself feels closer to material deprivation.




Offline chowhound

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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #16 on: October 19, 2010, 05:26:52 pm »
One way of approaching the Hammershoi-like starkness of the Twists' living room with its single wall decoration of a cross and its diffuse lighting, is to contrast this with what we find above in Jack's bedroom.

There, the room has colours and a very varied collection of "things". There's the colourful bedspread and pillow on the single bed - note the reds - the desk with its toys and a rather crude, framed painting of cowboys herding cattle above, (could it be by Jack?), the rifle on the rack, the dresser with the baby boots, clock and covered wagon on top and another painting half seen above, Jack's clothes, and, of course, finally, the shirts. The net curtains are not closed in this room but open, allowing natural light to fall  and, of course, the window opens, allowing access to the natural world outside.

I'm not sure where such a contrast might take us but it's undoubtedly there, so I thought it was worth noting.

Offline chowhound

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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #17 on: October 19, 2010, 05:50:52 pm »
One very small question. Can anyone identify what is the object fixed to the wall to the left of the door as you look at the door? You can see it quite clearly in the screencap of the living room that Andrew posted just above. Is it something for hanging coats? I assume the black circle on the other side of the door is OMT"s hat as Ennis's creamy/white one can be seen upside down on that little table by the door.

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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #18 on: October 19, 2010, 06:58:18 pm »
It looks to me like a small framed mirror with hooks for hanging up keys, and I think those are keys on loops hanging from it. The small box hanging from the wall at the far left is a match holder.
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Offline southendmd

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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #19 on: October 19, 2010, 07:11:04 pm »
One very small question. Can anyone identify what is the object fixed to the wall to the left of the door as you look at the door? You can see it quite clearly in the screencap of the living room that Andrew posted just above. Is it something for hanging coats? I assume the black circle on the other side of the door is OMT"s hat as Ennis's creamy/white one can be seen upside down on that little table by the door.

I believe it is a small mirror, but rather than keys, hanging from it are clothes brushes.  Presumably, one would brush off of one's coat or hat before leaving the house.  Such an old-fashioned thing!  

Here's something similar: 


But that is what strikes me about the Twist house:  everything is so old, older than Jack's childhood.  The furnishings look like they date to the 20s or 30s, maybe even earlier.

Offline Meryl

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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #20 on: October 19, 2010, 11:12:43 pm »
I believe it is a small mirror, but rather than keys, hanging from it are clothes brushes.  Presumably, one would brush off of one's coat or hat before leaving the house.  Such an old-fashioned thing! 

Here's something similar: 

But that is what strikes me about the Twist house:  everything is so old, older than Jack's childhood.  The furnishings look like they date to the 20s or 30s, maybe even earlier.

I've often wondered what that was hanging on the wall to the left of the door.  The clothes brush hanger makes sense.  It looks like the kind of antique you'd find at country antique markets or stores out West.

You make a good point about how old the furnishings of the Twist house are, Paul.  They contrast nicely with the furnishings of Jack's house in Texas.  The window in that Texas living room illuminates quite a different picture of family life.
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Offline Penthesilea

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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #21 on: October 20, 2010, 05:02:37 am »
One very small question. Can anyone identify what is the object fixed to the wall to the left of the door as you look at the door? You can see it quite clearly in the screencap of the living room that Andrew posted just above. Is it something for hanging coats? I assume the black circle on the other side of the door is OMT"s hat as Ennis's creamy/white one can be seen upside down on that little table by the door.


Paul is right, it's an old-fashioned thingie with a small mirror and clothes brushes. You can see it quite clearly when Ennis leaves the Twist house:




In this one, you can see the object and the hat behind Ennis pretty good:


Offline Penthesilea

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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #22 on: October 20, 2010, 07:47:20 am »
One way of approaching the Hammershoi-like starkness of the Twists' living room with its single wall decoration of a cross and its diffuse lighting, is to contrast this with what we find above in Jack's bedroom.

There, the room has colours and a very varied collection of "things". There's the colourful bedspread and pillow on the single bed - note the reds - the desk with its toys and a rather crude, framed painting of cowboys herding cattle above, (could it be by Jack?), the rifle on the rack, the dresser with the baby boots, clock and covered wagon on top and another painting half seen above, Jack's clothes, and, of course, finally, the shirts. The net curtains are not closed in this room but open, allowing natural light to fall  and, of course, the window opens, allowing access to the natural world outside.

I'm not sure where such a contrast might take us but it's undoubtedly there, so I thought it was worth noting.

You're right with the starkness and lightning of the Twist living room, but there are far more than a single wall decoration:

- There's the old fashioned clothes brushes object, as seen above.
- There's a small rack/shelf in the right hand corner (right side from OMT's POV, when you face the door).
- A photograph to the right of OMT.
- Next to the photo is a very basic lamp.
- Another small mirror behind OMT.
- A small, white unidentyfied object to the left of OMT.
- Plus the well-known cricufix

Makes seven wall decorations at least. Eight, if you count the hat. Plus, there's other stuff/nippes lying around (two objects under the window to OMT's right for example, and a standing lamp).









What IS this? Left side, above the bucket with cleaning utensils. Looks almost like a household sized stoup. You can see them in catholic homes in Bavaria, for example. Do Catholics in the US also have those little stoups?
We know that Mrs. Twist is Pentecostal, which brings me back to my question: what the heck is this?

Offline southendmd

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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #23 on: October 20, 2010, 08:17:36 am »
Super screencaps, Chrissi. 

I have no idea what a "stoup" is, but the thingie above the bucket looks like a match holder, also a very old-fashioned thing.

Here's what they look like: 

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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #24 on: October 20, 2010, 09:02:15 am »
Thank you Paul :).

A match holder - yes, that must be it! A stoup wouldn't make sense, that's why I asked.

A stoup is a container for holy water (at least that's what my dictionary says). There are the big ones in churches, but there are also small ones who hang in the homes of people, on the wall, near the door, so you can easily use it when coming in. Mostly in living rooms, kitchens and bedrooms. The basin for the holy water is very small, you can only put your finger tips in it.
They come in many shapes:

   


Sorry for the brief OT. Back to the Twist ranch.

Offline chowhound

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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #25 on: October 20, 2010, 01:41:41 pm »
You're right with the starkness and lightning of the Twist living room, but there are far more than a single wall decoration:

- There's the old fashioned clothes brushes object, as seen above.
- There's a small rack/shelf in the right hand corner (right side from OMT's POV, when you face the door).
- A photograph to the right of OMT.
- Next to the photo is a very basic lamp.
- Another small mirror behind OMT.
- A small, white unidentyfied object to the left of OMT.
- Plus the well-known cricufix

Makes seven wall decorations at least. Eight, if you count the hat. Plus, there's other stuff/nippes lying around (two objects under the window to OMT's right for example, and a standing lamp).









What IS this? Left side, above the bucket with cleaning utensils. Looks almost like a household sized stoup. You can see them in catholic homes in Bavaria, for example. Do Catholics in the US also have those little stoups?
We know that Mrs. Twist is Pentecostal, which brings me back to my question: what the heck is this?

Indeed, Penthesilea, there are more objects on the wall than the cross. But in describing it as a wall "decoration", I was implying a distinction between what is "decorative" and what is "functional". For me, the "functional" objects on the wall are:

         -the clothes brush
         -lamp
         -mirror
         -rack/shelf
         -hat
         -match box

For me, the "decorative" objects on the wall are the cross and the photograph.

This is in direct contrast to Jack's room where almost all the objects, whether on the wall or not, are "decorative" rather than "functional".

Offline Marina

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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #26 on: October 20, 2010, 01:56:00 pm »
This is one of the most interesting threads - the scenes in Jack's room and home were some of the most heartbreaking and intimate.   There are so many details, big and small, that are thought-provoking in this film.  Does anyone know who the movie actor in the photograph on Jack's bedroom wall was?

I also enjoyed reading the oceans thread linked to this one.   I also had some of these thoughts about the ocean, and I couldnt' figure out why, it must be because of Ennis' surname "Del Mar" - oceans, waves of grain, big blue sky, all the blues in the film.  It's so interesting that we've thought of these things.  :)
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Offline southendmd

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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #27 on: October 20, 2010, 02:35:56 pm »
This is one of the most interesting threads - the scenes in Jack's room and home were some of the most heartbreaking and intimate.   There are so many details, big and small, that are thought-provoking in this film.  Does anyone know who the movie actor in the photograph on Jack's bedroom wall was?

From the story:  An ancient magazine photograph of some dark-haired movie star was taped to the wall beside the bed, the skin tone gone magenta.

In one version of the screenplay, the actor was Maximillian Schell.



I'm not sure there is a photograph in the film.  Chrissi, any screencaps?

Offline Marina

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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #28 on: October 20, 2010, 02:39:27 pm »
Wow, thanks - I hope I didn't confuse the short story with the film!   There are so many details and I think sometimes we absorb them subconsciously too.  :)   Fun threads, these.
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Offline southendmd

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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #29 on: October 20, 2010, 02:42:15 pm »
I love the details too, Marina.

I agree about the subconscious absorption that happens.  It's like BBM has become a part of me. 

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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #30 on: October 20, 2010, 02:49:56 pm »
I've often wondered what that was hanging on the wall to the left of the door.  The clothes brush hanger makes sense.  It looks like the kind of antique you'd find at country antique markets or stores out West.

You make a good point about how old the furnishings of the Twist house are, Paul.  They contrast nicely with the furnishings of Jack's house in Texas.  The window in that Texas living room illuminates quite a different picture of family life.

Oh no, you blew his disguise!!!   :o :o

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Offline Sason

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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #31 on: October 20, 2010, 03:10:10 pm »

Paul is right, it's an old-fashioned thingie with a small mirror and clothes brushes. You can see it quite clearly when Ennis leaves the Twist house:




In this one, you can see the object and the hat behind Ennis pretty good:



I'm wondering about this holder for clothes brushes. To me it looks misplaced. Not a thing you'd expect to see in a house so stark and sparsely decorated as the Twist house. I perceive it more as an item you'd find in a house in town, rather than on a farm. I mean, who needs to brush their clothes before leaving the house to go and work on a farm?
Maybe it's a wedding gift? It could very well be the type of gift that people in the country with little money gave as a gift to give the new home a certain "air".

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Offline Sason

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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #32 on: October 20, 2010, 03:13:52 pm »

What IS this? Left side, above the bucket with cleaning utensils. Looks almost like a household sized stoup. You can see them in catholic homes in Bavaria, for example. Do Catholics in the US also have those little stoups?
We know that Mrs. Twist is Pentecostal, which brings me back to my question: what the heck is this?

Chrissi, are you sure it's cleaning utensils? I'm not sure what it is, but it doesn't look like cleaning utensils to me. And would they be kept in the living room when there's a guest?

I'd say it was fire wood. Only thing is, I don't know if there's a stove in the room.

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Offline Monika

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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #33 on: October 20, 2010, 03:19:16 pm »
I'm wondering about this holder for clothes brushes. To me it looks misplaced. Not a thing you'd expect to see in a house so stark and sparsely decorated as the Twist house. I perceive it more as an item you'd find in a house in town, rather than on a farm. I mean, who needs to brush their clothes before leaving the house to go and work on a farm?
Maybe it's a wedding gift? It could very well be the type of gift that people in the country with little money gave as a gift to give the new home a certain "air".
I agree, it does look a bit out of place.
I have never even noticed it was there. Cool! You guys have eyes like hawks!

Offline Monika

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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #34 on: October 20, 2010, 03:27:10 pm »
Chrissi, are you sure it's cleaning utensils? I'm not sure what it is, but it doesn't look like cleaning utensils to me. And would they be kept in the living room when there's a guest?

I'd say it was fire wood. Only thing is, I don't know if there's a stove in the room.
that´s exactly what I thought it looked like too!
But is there a stove...There should be one in the kitchen anyway.

Offline Sason

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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #35 on: October 20, 2010, 03:30:40 pm »
that´s exactly what I thought it looked like too!
But is there a stove...There should be one in the kitchen anyway.

I've just been looking through my pictures of that room. But I didn't take any pictures including that wall!! I have the kitchen and the stairs and the windows, but not the wall.  >:(


Well, next year in Alberta....   :D

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Offline Monika

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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #36 on: October 20, 2010, 03:32:09 pm »
I've just been looking through my pictures of that room. But I didn't take any pictures including that wall!! I have the kitchen and the stairs and the windows, but not the wall.  >:(


Well, next year in Alberta....   :D
You have no idea how much I´ve regreted not walking up those stairs...


Offline southendmd

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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #37 on: October 20, 2010, 03:33:07 pm »
I'm wondering about this holder for clothes brushes. To me it looks misplaced. Not a thing you'd expect to see in a house so stark and sparsely decorated as the Twist house. I perceive it more as an item you'd find in a house in town, rather than on a farm. I mean, who needs to brush their clothes before leaving the house to go and work on a farm?
Maybe it's a wedding gift? It could very well be the type of gift that people in the country with little money gave as a gift to give the new home a certain "air".

I imagine these clothes brush holders were very common, even in the country.  Even though it is a modest home, the Twists aren't slovenly.  They are both neatly dressed.  Don't forget, Ma Twist would want to brush her clothes before going to church.  

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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #38 on: October 20, 2010, 03:35:06 pm »
You have no idea how much I´ve regreted not walking up those stairs...



They didn't look safe. I was afraid of doing it, being the only one inside the house.

Next year we can tie us together with a rope, and climb them one at a time!   ;D

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Offline Sophia

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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #39 on: October 20, 2010, 03:35:44 pm »
I'm wondering about this holder for clothes brushes. To me it looks misplaced. Not a thing you'd expect to see in a house so stark and sparsely decorated as the Twist house. I perceive it more as an item you'd find in a house in town, rather than on a farm. I mean, who needs to brush their clothes before leaving the house to go and work on a farm?
Maybe it's a wedding gift? It could very well be the type of gift that people in the country with little money gave as a gift to give the new home a certain "air".

If I should mention some farmers perspective on this subject, I must say this thing with the brushes is a very common thing to have on a farm. My grandparents use to have brushes hanging just inside the door. So you could brush boots, cloths and hats. They had two brushes one for the cloths and one for the hats. The reason why is you don´t wanna bring in to much dirt in the house and brushed cloths look better then unbrushed cloths.

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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #40 on: October 20, 2010, 03:39:37 pm »
I imagine these clothes brush holders were very common, even in the country.  Even though it is a modest home, the Twists aren't slovenly.  They are both neatly dressed.  Don't forget, Ma Twist would want to brush her clothes before going to church.  

You may be right. But even so, compared to so many other things they are apparently lacking, a clothes brush holder doesn't seem to be something really necessary.

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Offline southendmd

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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #41 on: October 20, 2010, 03:39:59 pm »
Chrissi, are you sure it's cleaning utensils? I'm not sure what it is, but it doesn't look like cleaning utensils to me. And would they be kept in the living room when there's a guest?

I'd say it was fire wood. Only thing is, I don't know if there's a stove in the room.

Looks like firewood to me, too.  Makes sense; a house like that would certainly have a fireplace or wood-burning stove.  Hence, the match holder.

Here's a sad little video:  

[youtube=425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMpeAR0mbGM&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

Offline southendmd

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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #42 on: October 20, 2010, 03:41:59 pm »
You may be right. But even so, compared to so many other things they are apparently lacking, a clothes brush holder doesn't seem to be something really necessary.

Anyone who has been to Wyoming knows how dusty it is!  Definitely necessary!

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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #43 on: October 20, 2010, 03:43:44 pm »
If I should mention some farmers perspective on this subject, I must say this thing with the brushes is a very common thing to have on a farm. My grandparents use to have brushes hanging just inside the door. So you could brush boots, cloths and hats. They had two brushes one for the cloths and one for the hats. The reason why is you don´t wanna bring in to much dirt in the house and brushed cloths look better then unbrushed cloths.

Ok, here we have some expertise on the matter!

Maybe they are actually more common in the country than in town?

Are you saying your grandparents used the brushes before they entered the house, rather than before they left?

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Offline Sason

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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #44 on: October 20, 2010, 03:49:19 pm »
Looks like firewood to me, too.  Makes sense; a house like that would certainly have a fireplace or wood-burning stove.  Hence, the match holder.

Here's a sad little video:  

[youtube=425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMpeAR0mbGM&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

OMG, I'd forgotten about that one!   Who took it?  The proof of my criminal activity.....   8)


Anyway, the big hole in the upper left part of the wall, could very well be where the pipe from the stove lead to the chimney.


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Offline Monika

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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #45 on: October 20, 2010, 03:50:02 pm »
Looks like firewood to me, too.  Makes sense; a house like that would certainly have a fireplace or wood-burning stove.  Hence, the match holder.

Here's a sad little video:  

[youtube=425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMpeAR0mbGM&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]


Yeah, isn´t it sad?
If I were a millionaire, I would restore it.

But I guess it adds a touch of realism to it. There is a probably a big chance that this is what would have happened to the Twist ranch since their only child died so early. There would have been nobody to keep the place going.

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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #46 on: October 20, 2010, 03:55:02 pm »

Yeah, isn´t it sad?
If I were a millionaire, I would restore it.

But I guess it adds a touch of realism to it. There is a probably a big chance that this is what would have happened to the Twist ranch since their only child died so early. There would have been nobody to keep the place going.

True that. But I don't think the state of the house is due only to natural decline. It looked vandalized too. Like the big whole in the door, and the hole in the wall that's visible in the video.

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Offline Sophia

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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #47 on: October 20, 2010, 03:56:39 pm »
Ok, here we have some expertise on the matter!

Maybe they are actually more common in the country than in town?

Are you saying your grandparents used the brushes before they entered the house, rather than before they left?

I think they had two different set of brushes. One for the beautiful cloths and one for the ordernary cloths. And the beautiful cloths they brushed before they left home, and the old rags they brushed before the went inside the house, for a break or something.

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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #48 on: October 20, 2010, 03:58:24 pm »
I think they had two different set of brushes. One for the beautiful cloths and one for the ordernary cloths. And the beautiful cloths they brushed before they left home, and the old rags they brushed before the went inside the house, for a break or something.

That makes a whole lot of sense.

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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #49 on: October 20, 2010, 04:01:40 pm »
OMG, I'd forgotten about that one!   Who took it?  
the person with the bad English accent you hear in the video.  Me that is. ::)

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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #50 on: October 20, 2010, 04:03:41 pm »
the person with the bad English accent you can hear in the video.  Me that is. ::)

I'm sure the person with the bad English accent is me!   ::)  :D

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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #51 on: October 05, 2012, 02:46:15 pm »
I don't know how generally known is the connection between the "look" of the Twists' living room and the paintings of the 19th century Danish artist, Vilhelm Hammershoi. In case it's not generally known, I thought I'd post a section of an interview that Rodrigo Prieto, the director of photography, gave to the magazine, American Cinematography, in the January of 2006:

Their farmhouse is "very stark, with grayish-white walls," says Prieto. "I tried to do something very simple but with a powerful contrast, which is difficult to achieve in a white room, so I blew out the windows and made them bright spots while keeping dark shadows on the faces. For this scene, we were inspired by the work of Vilhelm Hammershoi, whose paintings are very moody but devoid of color. We used an 18K HMI as the main source, lighting from a large window next to the table where Jack's father talks with Ennis. The light was diffused with a 12-by-12 full grid that was as close to the window as the framing allowed in each shot. We had two 6K Pars over the smaller windows coming in as direct sunlight through the sheer curtains, and a 4K Par through the small window in the door. For close-ups, I added an Image 80 on the ground to give a sense of light bouncing off the floor, plus a single 2-foot Kino tube wrapped in 216 under the lens for a very slight glint in the eyes. The goal was to suggest that Ennis feels uncomfortable in the stale, monochromatic atmosphere."

I came across this in a review of an exhibition of his paintings put on in London a little while back. It may help to explain his appeal:

Hammershoi understands the power of negatives, the unsaid, the unshown. His art is full of refusals. The back-turned woman, revealing nothing of her mind; the unmotivated presence of these figures, haunting the rooms like ghosts; the doors  closed or ajar, implying something hidden beyond; the apartments' unexplained emptiness, occupied only by light, or with a few isolated signs of life, like the Mary Celeste.

Everything conspires to create a mood of absence, loss, denial. Somebody is dead. Somebody is abandoned. Somebody is fatally repressed. Life is on hold, proceeding in a reduced, trance-like manner. Behind the scenes, on everyone's mind, there's a secret.

And Hammershoi embodies the unending and the unknown with his walls – those blank, flickering expanses, stretches of nothing that face out, flat-on to the picture surface. The paintings' viewers, like the figures in them, do a lot of staring at walls.

It is an intensely narrow art. You might think of Jane Austen's phrase – "the little bit (two Inches wide) of Ivory on which I work with so fine a Brush" – but compared with Hammershoi's, her world is a herd
of elephants. And it's not just within the pictures that so little happens, but between them.

The second paragraph seems strangely apposite for the Twist household.

A wonderful thread to read, along with "Red and Green".
When you see the smiley face in the sky, the pandemic will be over!

Offline southendmd

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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #52 on: November 26, 2012, 10:16:57 pm »
I saw "Life of Pi" last night, and remarked that the last scene, vital to the story, is also done with a stark, white background.  Ang at work again!

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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #53 on: May 10, 2017, 07:16:31 pm »
My random reading for today. We said lots of things, all of them interesting to me.
When you see the smiley face in the sky, the pandemic will be over!

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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #54 on: May 10, 2017, 08:30:44 pm »
My random reading for today. We said lots of things, all of them interesting to me.

Thanks for the bump.  I enjoyed re-reading this.

Offline BBM_victim

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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #55 on: May 11, 2017, 10:10:23 pm »
The paintings are just great! *putonmylisttosee*
Thanks for this!

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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[youtube=425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhQmS8KJeUo[/youtube]
Michael Palin and the Mystery of Vilhelm Hammershoi
BBC4





Published on Jul 27, 2013
A poetic voyage in the paintings of Danish artist Vilhelm Hammershoi with Michael Palin.
Broadcast on BBC Four on June 29 2008.
(I do not own the rights on this program.)




http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b007ccc2

Broadcast: Sun 29 Jun 2008



With a passion for art that is rivalled only by travel, Michael Palin combines both in a European journey to discover more about Vilhelm Hammershoi, an enigmatic Danish artist that has fascinated him for years. Curious to see more of Hammershoi's paintings and discover what kind of life the artist lived, Michael searches for clues in London, Holland and Copenhagen.











[youtube=425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFggPGsHgyE[/youtube]
Vilhelm Hammershoi and Tortoise-Four-Day Interval
Published on May 17, 2011




"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
(and you know who I am...)


Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
"Camping Out"

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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #57 on: July 24, 2017, 06:11:58 pm »
Looking forward to watching this tonight! Thanks, John!
When you see the smiley face in the sky, the pandemic will be over!

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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Looking forward to watching this tonight! Thanks, John!



Enjoy, Lee!  ;)
[youtube=425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhQmS8KJeUo[/youtube]
Michael Palin and the Mystery of Vilhelm Hammershoi
BBC4




"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
(and you know who I am...)


Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
"Camping Out"

Offline Sason

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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #59 on: August 12, 2017, 08:11:15 pm »
The programme was most interesting!

Thanks for posting it, John!

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Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #60 on: August 13, 2017, 03:49:15 pm »
The programme was most interesting!

Thanks for posting it, John!


I'm glad you enjoyed it, Sonja!
 :)

"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
(and you know who I am...)


Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
"Camping Out"