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Movie Stills Remade as Watercolors?

Leanne Shapton's new book of monochrome reelism is a thing of beauty

By Wayne Alan Brenner, 2:30PM, Mon. Oct. 14, 2013

a nonstop hollywood movie show
a nonstop hollywood movie show

Classic movie titles and narrative moments frozen from the fleet sequence of frames, captured in deep black and gray watercolors by Canadian artist and graphic novelist Leanne Shapton.

That's all it is: Only that, and nothing more.
And, oh, it's more than sufficient to steal your heart.

Page after page of these images – 96 pages, to be exact – like heavenly screengrabs lifted from a scattershot film history, evoking memories with every monochrome shade, impressing through precision of technique and delicacy of medium. Sunday Night Movies, the collection is called, and it promotes a feeling of some restful afternoon sitting in your favorite comfy chair and taking in hours of old screwball comedies and classic dramas on the tube while the rest of the world goes about its crass hurly-burly beyond the walls of wherever you live.

We won't slip into a rhapsody of description here. We won't attempt to plumb for deeper meaning than what's depicted among the heavy seven-by-ten-inch pages of this well-made publication from Drawn & Quarterly. This is what it is, as Morgan Freeman might intone in a movie or two elsewhere, and what it is is a compilation of fragments of typographic and cinematic beauty, reproduced in a subtle medium and presented in a way sure to enchant any film-lover or aficionado of painterly skill.

Do you know a person like that, maybe? We can't easily imagine a more welcome gift for them or you, a more enchanting addition to any collection of filmic treasures, than this Sunday Night Movies by Leanne Shapton.

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