Anna Magnani, living in a painting, in Renoirs The Golden Coach

  • Anna Magnani, living in a painting, in Renoir’s The Golden Coach

It’s been a great season for Technicolor in Chicago: the Music Box recently revived classics of the form by Douglas Sirk and Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger; the Northwest Chicago Film Society screened Otto Preminger’s Centennial Summer and Alfred Hitchcock’s The Trouble With Harry; and Doc Films presented Vincente Minnelli’s Meet Me in St. Louis, my personal favorite example of the form.

And the hits just keep on coming. Tonight Doc Films will screen Jean Renoir’s The Golden Coach at 8:30 PM, and on Thursday at 6 PM the Film Center will present a second screening of Minnelli’s Van Gogh biopic Lust for Life. Both movies are essential works of Technicolor—and, by extension, 35-millimeter photography—suggesting oil paintings come to life. While there’s more to them than cinematography, seeing them on film heightens a dimension of their artistry that can only be hinted at by DVD.