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Frida: Bringing Frida Kahlo's Life and Art to
an absolutely gorgeous book! The book contains the movie script lavishly illustrated
with photographs from the film and is liberally supplemented with the film
makers interviews, as well as historic quotes and photographs of the real
Frida and those who knew her.
Frida: Bringing Frida Kahlo's Life and Art to
Film is a volume with two
distinct purposes. First, it is a biography of the 20th century
Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. Second, it is the documenting of the making of the
as told by the actors, directors, and graphic artists who worked on it. Frida
Kahlo lived a flamboyant life filled with violence and geared to shock. She was
born in Mexico City in 1907. Frida wanted to be a doctor and loved to dance. At 15-years old, her dreams were destroyed
by a bus accident that left her alive, but physically challenged for the rest
of her life. Her creative urge, however, would not be stifled. During her
initial convalescence, Frida turned to painting in order to pass time and in
order to express herself. She painted miniatures due to her physical
limitations, but her choice of Mexican folk art as a style was her own
choosing. It was inevitable that she would meet and marry Diego Rivera, the
outspoken Communist muralist. Their relationship was intense and fiery. Through
Diego, Frida was introduced to famous artists and politicians. She traveled
with him to America and in response to his many dalliances with women had an
affair with his idol, Leon Trotsky. Her medical condition continued to deteriorate
throughout her life, and finally in 1954 at the age of 44 years she died. Frida (the movie) was the dream of
actress Salma Hayek (who plays Frida in the film) and director Julie Tamor. It
was not enough to simply tell her story, but to document her life in a
historically accurate yet interesting (and financially lucrative) way. This
necessitated gaining the trust of Fridas family and friends who consulted on
the film and getting the support of the Mexican government for access to
historic sites. Everything from clothing to décor to finding or replicating
archaic machinery was done. Sheer commitment and determination was necessary to
see this project to completion.
The book is interesting, colorful, and educational. It is filled with
photographs, artwork, and original quotes from those who shared Fridas life
story. Addition insights are given from the actors who portrayed the
characters. The book is filled with bright and colorful high-grade photography.
It is also lavishly illustrated with decorative borders and colorful insets for
quotes. While any portrayal of Frida must fall short of the reality, I trust
that those who took such care to accurately portray Frida and labored under the
direction of the Frida Kuhlo Museum and those who knew her personally, would
allow the woman to be misrepresent. Also it is easy to compare the script and
depictions based on the descriptive quotes of Frida and others scattered
through the book.
Julie Taymor is the two-time Tony Award winner for The
Lion King and one of the most imaginative and respected directors working
in the performing arts today. Her work is celebrated in the art book Playing
with Fire (Abrams) and a Bravo TV profile. She previously directed the
Academy Award®-nominated adaptation of William Shakespeare's Titus. She
lives in New York. Frida (the movie) has been nominated for
six Academy Awards.
Frida: Bringing Frida Kahlo's Life and Art to
more than a colorful coffee table book. The book is Frida bright and colorful and
of course gutsy and shocking. Like the film it is
wonderful way to enter the life of an artist through her artwork. It is a book
to return to again and again. I
highly recommend this book.
© 2003 Su Terry
Terry: Education: B.A. in History from Sacred Heart University, M.L.S. in
Library Science from Southern Connecticut State College, M.R.S. in Religious
Studies/Pastoral Counseling from Fairfield University, a M.Div.
in Professional Ministry from New Brunswick Theological Seminary, a Certificate
in Spirituality/Spiritual Direction from Sacred Heart University. She is a
Licensed Minister of the United Church of Christ and an Assistant Professor in
Library Science at Dowling College,
Long Island, NY.
Interests in Mental Health: She is interested in the interplay between
psychology, biology, and mysticism. Her current area of research is in the
impact of hormonal fluctuation in female Christian mystics.