You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Berlinale: Stanley Tucci Defends the Arts as Trump Looms

On Saturday, Stanley Tucci became the latest star to blast U.S. President Donald Trump in Berlin, saying that if his administration has its way, it would “eviscerate funding for the arts.”

The actor, writer, and director spoke at a press conference following the screening of “Final Portrait,” which stars Geoffrey Rush as Swiss artist Alberto Giacometti and Armie Hammer as art critic James Lord in an adaption of the latter’s biography “A Giacometti Portrait.” Clémence Poésy also stars.

Asked if his film and the work of filmmakers could influence the Trump administration’s plans to cut funding for the National Endowment of the Arts, Tucci said, “I don’t think our film can influence the president in any way, shape, or form. There, government has always had an ambiguous relationship to the arts in the U.S. … I can imagine if this administration has its way, they will eviscerate the arts. Art should be an intrinsic part of life, but many people don’t see art as an important part of education. This administration may not even see education as important.”

Tucci testified before members of the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012 on behalf of increased funding of the National Endowment of the Arts.

Discussing his film, Tucci said Lord’s book offered “a great articulation of the artistic process. Lord articulated it beautifully and in Giacometti’s own words.”

Like the book, the film revolves around the process of Giacometti painting a portrait of Lord over an 18-day period some two years before the artist’s death. Tucci described Giacometti as both “ancient and modern. There’s nothing quite like it — it’s truthfulness, abstract, and figurative.”

The filmmaker spent years developing the project since first reading Lord’s book as a young a man, and spent a decade raising the money for the film. Tucci sought to shoot the film, which is set in 1964 Paris, in a New Wave style, using two handheld cameras simultaneously. “Part of me wanted to shoot it in black and white, but that would not have been possible.”

Asked about his own relationship to art, Hammer said, “I like to consider myself an artist, and it’s an honor to work with great artists like the people who worked on this film. I hope some of that rubs off on me by proxy.”

Like his character in the film, who sits across an artist he idolizes and watches him paint, Hammer said he too got work with one of the actors he most admires. “All I did was sit in front of one of my idols enthralled.”

More Film

  • Come as You Are review

    SXSW Film Review: 'Come as You Are'

    The rare remake that’s actually a slight improvement on its predecessor, Richard Wong’s “Come as You Are” translates Geoffrey Enthoven’s 2011 Belgian “Hasta la Vista” to middle America. Other changes are less substantial, but this seriocomedy has a less formulaic feel than the original while remaining a crowd-pleasing buddy pic-caper with a soft-pedaled minority empowerment [...]

  • Strange Negotiations review

    SXSW Film Review: 'Strange Negotiations'

    In a era when some mainstream entertainers have transitioned to targeting faith-based audiences, David Bazan is moving in the other direction. The gifted songwriter’s ersatz band Pedro the Lion was perhaps the most successful Christian indie rock act of its time, and the first to significantly cross over to secular fans. Then he ditched that persona (and [...]

  • Bluebird review

    SXSW Film Review: ‘Bluebird’

    As affectionate as a love letter but as substantial as an infomercial, Brian Loschiavo’s “Bluebird” may be of most interest to casual and/or newly converted country music fans who have occasionally wondered about the songwriters behind the songs. There’s a better than even-money chance that anyone who’s a loyal and longtime aficionado of the musical [...]

  • ‘Wonder Park’ Tops Studios’ TV Ad

    ‘Wonder Park’ Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending for the Fourth Week in a Row

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the TV advertising attention analytics company iSpot.tv, Paramount Pictures claims the top spot in spending for the fourth week in row with “Wonder Park.” Ads placed for the animated film had an estimated media value of $5.18 million through Sunday for 1,718 national [...]

  • Michael B. Jordan Jordan Vogt-Roberts

    Film News Roundup: Michael B. Jordan, Jordan Vogt-Roberts Team for Monster Movie

    In today’s film news roundup, Michael B. Jordan is producing a creature feature, billiards champ Cisero Murphy is getting a movie, the sixth Terminator movie gets a title, and Graham King receives an honor. PROJECT UNVEILED New Regency and Michael B. Jordan’s Outlier Society are partnering on an untitled monster movie from “Kong: Skull Island” [...]

  • Nicolas Cage

    Nicolas Cage to Star in Martial Arts Actioner 'Jiu Jitsu'

    Nicolas Cage will star in the martial arts actioner “Jiu Jitsu,” based on the comic book of the same name. The cast will also include Alain Moussi, who stars in the “Kickboxer” franchise. Dimitri Logothetis is producing with Martin Barab and directing from a script he wrote with Jim McGrath. Highland Film Group is handling [...]

  • Chinese success of Thai film "Bad

    Chinese, Thai Shingles Pact for Co-Production Fund at FilMart

    A deal to establish a 100 million yuan ($14.9 million) co-production fund between China and Thailand was struck at FilMart on Tuesday to help launch TV and film projects that will appeal to Chinese and Southeast Asian audience. The deal that was struck by China’s Poly Film Investment Co., TW Capital from Thailand and Thai [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content