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Venice: Theme and Variations
Time Out says
Ivory's first, slightly intoxicated film (part of his MA thesis for the University of Southern California) is a documentary on the history of Venice as revealed through the work of some of the artists who have painted its architecture and citizens (from Gentile Bellini to Saul Steinberg). In The Europeans, Ivory cast himself as an austere silent collector eyeing an objet d'art; in A Room with a View, Cecil Vyse mounts a chair to take a closer look at a portrait; in Hullabaloo Over Georgie and Bonnie's Pictures, Saeed Jaffrey flicks back a sheet of tissue to reveal an erotic Indian miniature for the delectation of Peggy Ashcroft; Slaves of New York finds keen young artists frantically painting in New York lofts; and in Savages, one of the Mudpeople goes so far as to lick an oil painting to discover, perhaps, if it is real. Thesis writers start here.