This week’s assignment in my Directing and Production Class is to write an essay on documentaries about an inventor, artist and/or leader that inspired me. The world is full or remarkable and inspiring people but I have to narrow it down to three, they are:
The Inventor – Ada Lovelace
Not an inventor per se but rather a visionary mathematician. Ada Lovelace was considered by many as the first computer programmer. She worked with and was a friend of Charles Babbage who is also known as “the Father of Computers.” Although her computer program didn’t have a lot of impact, her insights on the potential applications of mechanical computers were. She was the first person to imagine that computers could be used to represent things beyond numbers. Yay, for being a bad-ass female mathematician! The short video below is a pretty nice summary.
The Leader – Andy Warhol
Not a political or business leader but his cultural and geopolitical awareness made him such an influential figure in American art history. Andy was one of the leaders of the Pop Art Movement. In the attached documentary, the narrator said “Andy is Pop Art and Pop Art is Andy.” He was not afraid to be different. He thinks being different is good. He sees beauty in everything. He coined the term ’15 minutes of fame’ in the 60’s which was appropriate then and I think more so now. But I guess it will always be fitting because we humans have a short attention span and will always be in search of something new. If you click on the provided link you will be dismayed to learn that our average attention span at 8 seconds is shorter than a goldfish!!!
We think Instagram/social media is new, but from reading Andy’s biography, I believe him to be the original Instagram influencer. He used to take photographs of people and films of things around him all the time. He’s a prolific artist so in your down time try to look at some of his work. The documentary I’ve attached is part 1, part 2 is also available on YouTube.
“Life is a series of images that change as it repeats itself.” Andy Warhol
The Artist – Claude Monet
My love for flowers and nature naturally drew me to artists who are known for their works on the same subjects. And one of my early favorites is Claude Monet. He was a founder of French Impressionist painting, and the most consistent and prolific practitioner of the movement’s philosophy of expressing one’s perceptions before nature, especially as applied to plein-air landscape painting.
One of my dreams is to visit his(Monet’s) garden in Giverny. Still a dream but I was lucky enough to have visited a replica at the New York Botanical Garden. A few years ago, while living on the East Coast they featured a live exhibit that includes a waterlily pond complete with the Japanese bridge. I was thrilled!
Below is a documentary from BBC about Monet entitled “Mad about Monet”. It highlights his life, work and legacy. In it you will see where he grew up, some clips of him in his garden, some of his relatives and people who admires his work.
While writing this post, I realized that Monet was influential in my love of flowers, colors and nature. It made me appreciate the beauty of my surroundings. It was a revelation that I never realized until now. This discovery made this assignment is so much fun. How about you? Who are the artists, leaders, innovators that have influenced your life?
- Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claude_Monet