Dine on Dine

This 87-minute program of three shorts about Jim Dine should become a primer for making movies about artists and their art. The second and third movies on the program–All About Looking (1996) and Jim Dine: A Self-Portrait on the Walls (1995)–are directed by Dine’s wife, Nancy Dine, whose filmmaking style reflects an intuitive sensitivity to a viewer’s desires and frustrations when being presented with artwork at one remove: the camera’s perspective on Jim Dine’s paintings and drawings is neither elusive nor redundant. The first short, Peggy Stern’s Jim Dine: Childhood Stories (1992), isn’t as accomplished, only really showing its artistry at its end. Dine talks about his childhood to someone off camera in typical interview setups, and the implied listener-filmmaker allows him to indulge in pat, narcissistic psychologizing, illustrated with family photos and movies and close-ups of his work. Still, this approach provides a window into his philosophies of making and teaching art–the subjects of his wife’s movies. Together these shorts make up an engrossing portrait of an artist whose insight into himself and what he does is revealed to be much deeper and more profound than it may at first appear. Facets Multimedia Center, 1517 W. Fullerton, Friday, March 14, 7:00 and 9:00; Saturday and Sunday, March 15 and 16, 1:00, 3:00, 5:00, 7:00, and 9:00; and Monday through Thursday, March 17 through 20, 7:00 and 9:00; 773-281-4114.

–Lisa Alspector

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Jim Dine: Childhood Stories/ film still.