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Jan 05 2016

Curio: 2015's Most Artistically Inspirational Films

Alexahere looking back at 2015 along with the horde.As I've notedbefore, some films seem to inspire visual artists and crafters more than others.Of course science fiction and fantasy will always result in legions of geekery,but some films seem to go further,initiating a dialogue for visual artists that proves ongoing,often for decades.Certain directors' work will always be on the list (Woody & Wes),while others are more hit-or-miss (e.g.the endless fan art tributes to Polanski'sRosemary's Baby,relatively few for Polanski'sChinatown).Reasons are elusive,but it seems some films just serve up a perfect storm of elements that visual artists crave reinterpreting.

So Nathaniel (who chose the ten runners up) and I (who chose the top five,and maybe they're wishful thinking,as they're some of my favorite films of the year) looked into our crystal balls and choose

15 Films of '15 That Are Most Likely To Inspire Future Artists

Nathaniel's Honorable Mentions

15Diary of a Teenage Girl

"Favorite Movies 2015"by Hulyen

Neither of these films have really caught on yet with the online art crowd -- at least a web search of the usual places doesn't reveal much happening -- but they will.Diary of a Teenage Girlis about a cartoonist so it starts with an easy identification hook.Plus it's got memorable period trappings,gutsy performances,and an uninhibited libido for unhealthy sexual relations.

I'm even more sure thatTangerinewill catch onand here's why...

Gender noncomformity of any kind tends to inspire online art.There are a gazillion artists out there specializing in drag queen illustrations for instance.Drag and trans aren't the same things of course but any genderqueer expression tends to have its own built in fanbases (with some community overlap) and also makes for less boring art.What's more,Tangerineis the very kind of DIY triumphs -- Sean Baker famously shot it on an iPhone with actual trans women as trans women -- that will surely prove inspirational to future DIYers.Tangerineis so tiny (budget wise) but big (entertainment value) that it will continue to win fans the more familiar it becomes.Will Alexandra and Sin-Dee become classic characters?We hope so.


This movie has yet to reach people beyond the cinephile bubble given that terrible release idea.(New Year's Eve weekend is always THE WORST.) But eventually creative types everywhere will glom on to it from the simple hooks of Charlie Kaufman and puppetry.Plus all that melancholy for lonely artists.

12Fifty Shades of Grey

Who doesn't love S&M?(This is a rhetorical question.We don't want to know if you do or don't)

11 Kumiko the Treasure Hunter

Kumiko the Treasure Hunter by David RabeloWant to hook people who thrive on visual iconography?Give your character a memorable costume,like a giant quilt as coat,and a quirky obsession as instantly familiar as the Coen BrosFargo.


fan art by ChrisMck

It's not just its visual strengths via Roger Deaking memorable cinematography,but the mysteries embedded in its characters,particularly the title character played by Benicio Del Toro and the blank slate possibilities of Emily Blunt's cypher protagonist

09What We Do in the Shadows

This hilarous mockumentary has a subject matter that's already a prime favorite among artists (supernatural beasties) and enough new useful catchphrases to keep t-shirts and jewelry and such going for years.

08The Hateful Eight

fan art by noodleli

Sure,I personally hate this Hateful film but this list is about what films artists and creatives will obsess over.Tarantino is one of those directors whose character creations and films continually inspire creative play among fans.So expect a lot of Daisy Domorgue and Major Warren art in the near future,and possibly Jody Domergue and Bob fanfic in the far future (as the two most intriguing characters who have the least actual stuff to do within the movie.)

07  Room

Perhaps its my fascination with its first act "inverted rubic cube"10 X 10 set and all of its homemade aesthetic therein 'the egg snake' imaginary 'lucky' and whatnot.But my guess is people have misconstrued this as an 'actor's movie' and will later catch up to it as a visual achievement...the kind that will continue to inspire movie mad artists.But who knows if we'll ever see this art.This movie's title is so generic it presents distinct SEO problems


06Queen of Earth

Alternative poster byMidnight Marauder

Perhaps it was the fact that the film already had anamazing official poster,but the sight of Elizabeth Moss having an emotional breakdown in an isolated lake house,plus the ghosts of Polanski and Bergman films past,have made this film an illustrator's dream.If this means endless portraits of a crying Moss to come,I'm on board.

05Ex Machina

Illustration byAndi PapelitzkyPhilosophical science fiction carried out by bearded billionaire Oscar Isaac and elegant AI Alicia Vikander,with a horror movie climax to boot.What more do you need to get sketching?

04Mad Max: Fury Road

Imperator Furiosa print byMedusa DollmakerTake flamethrowing guitars,add porcupine cars,Tom Hardy and an action heroine taking on the patriarchy,throw them all into a perpetual motion machine and you have the best action movie of the year.And a visual feast that will be sketched for years to come.


Katarina Kühl's illustration,chosen by Todd Haynes as winner of LWL'screative briefPair pitch-perfect period glamour with expressionistic emotion and you have the beloved elements of a Todd Haynes film.Add gorgeous performances by Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara and you have the film that launched a thousand sketchbooks.

01 [TIE]Inside OutandStar Wars: The Force Awakens

Puppetsanddollson etsyTough to call which film will inspire more crochet or felted dolls in the future.My daughter cannot get enough of Joy or Sadness;I think BB8 will live forever.

Which 2015 film inspired you to get artsy?

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Reader Comments (3)

Lovely work with this series,Alexa!!

So pleased to see any Kumiko shoutouts,as well.

January 5,2016 | Registered CommenterChris Feil

Furiosa will live on forever,very much the icon in the tradition of Xena,Ridley,etc.
I love that Elizabeth Moss poster,I must see that movie.

January 5,2016 | Unregistered CommenterLadyEdith

That Carol illustration is WONDERFUL.They should rerelease it in 5 years animated like that.

January 5,2016 | Unregistered CommenterRahul

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