Final Portrait (2018) Stanley Tucci wrote and directed this independent film that focuses on the unrelenting obsession of Alberto Giacometti when at work making a portrait of his friend James Lord, who wrote about the experience. Geoffrey Rush provides a credible performance as the artist, and Tony Shalhoub surprises as his brother Diego. The excruciating tension of posing for a portrait makes Armie Hammer as James Lord finally contrive a way to stop these sessions and obtain a painting that “is just beginning to have real possibilities” and which “had gone far and could have gone further.”
Awaiting awake to command the hand
Before the brush ruins what has arrived,
So mortal when a breakthrough fails to land,
Resigned to how little has been revived.
Almost there, almost unpredictable
But essential to blend the body’s pose
With its grey halos held accountable
To cubes and cones, atmospheric echoes.
Try again. The canvass like the blank page
Invites revision, indecision, chance,
And precision, to break style from its cage,
Embracing white-outs without a glance.
Try again. Emaciating refrain,
Will you be the last line or fertile grain?
[November 6, 2018]