Sunday, May 25, 2014

Art Inspiring Art

It's not a stretch to see how works of art can actually inspire other people to create art themselves. Sometimes it's people such as director Kevin Smith who watched Richard Linklater's Slacker and decided that he too could make a movie of the same quality. It could also be seen in Andy Warhol paintings, where he would focus on something of pop culture such as a Hollywood idol or a something that could be seen in a movie and paint it in his own unique style. Marilyn Monroe was such a subject that Warhol painted.

Being aware of this, I give you ten other times art in some form or another either inspired or created other art.

1. The birth of Pixar: After releasing a flop in 1986 (Howard The Duck), George Lucas was left in massive debt. Steve Jobs of Apple fame, bought the computer animation technology from Lucasfilm at a high cost to help Lucas out. This technology ended up being the base programming to what would become Pixar Films. Indirectly, Howard The Duck led to box office smashes such Toy Story, Cars, Monsters, Inc, and many more.

2. While recording their third album, Aerosmith took a break for a night to hang out at the local movie theater. While there, they caught the movie Young Frankenstein where Igor tells Dr. Frankenstein to, "Walk This Way." Going back to the studio the next day, they recorded the song that would be one of their biggest hits and the second single from their Toys In The Attic album, Walk This Way.

3. Singer Poe released an album called Haunted that can almost act as a soundtrack to her brother, Mark Z. Danielewski's book House Of Leaves. Adding to the "art inspiring art" theme, but in a meta sort of way, both her brother's book and her album are inspired by their father and movie director, Ted Danielewski. He left audio recordings of life lessons he wanted to leave his children that his children found after his death. This inspired the characters Mark created and the recordings were used in Poe's songs, singing along or in response to what her father previously recorded.

4. As with many books, many eventually are adapted on the big screen. One such movie was The Cat In The Hat originally written in book form by the legend, Dr. Seuss. The kicker in this case was that the estate of Dr. Seuss hated the Mike Myers movie so much, that they banned all other works of Dr. Seuss from ever becoming a live action adaptation. So in this case, it can be said that inspired art that inspired the end of future art.

5. In the movie Alien, the blue light in the egg chamber came from a laser being used by the rock band The Who, whom were rehearsing in the next sound stage over for an upcoming tour. In this case, art accidentally bled into other art, creating a nice lighting ambience that set a scene in a successful movie.

6. If you're a fan of David Letterman, then you are aware of his Uncle Earl that he mentions occasionally (especially pre-2009). In the movie Beavis And Butt-head Do America, David Letterman was the voice actor of Butt-head's father. In the credits, Letterman's credit was listed under the name Earl Hofert, the Uncle Earl he mentions on his show.

7. In the music of David Bowie, the reoccurring character of Major Tom surfaces in several songs such as Space Oddity, Ashes To Ashes, Hallo Spaceboy. In 1983, music artist Peter Schilling continued the story of Major Tom in his hit single Major Tom (Coming Home). Now this isn't a massive revelation that music fans weren't aware of. What may be a little more eye opening is that David Bowie himself alluded that Major Tom is connected to Elton John's Rocket Man. Sometimes while performing Space Oddity live, Bowie will call out "Oh, Rocket Man!"

8. In a weird twist of art inspiring art, former SNL alum Dan Akroyd wrote the movie Ghostbusters and came up with a popular ghost named Slimer. Later on Akroyd would go on to say that Slimer is fellow SNL alum, John Belushi's ghost.

9. One rumor that I have yet to confirm, but has roamed around on the internet, centers around the amalgam movie Freddy Vs. Jason. One of the ideas was that the two movie maniacs destroy each other in battle and end up in hell, where Pinhead from Hellraiser would make an appearance at the end of the movie. Some movie execs tried to pitch this as a tag to the movie after the credits finished rolling.

10. And in a final twist, while filming The Passion Of The Christ, actor Jim Caviezel was struck by lighting during the crucifixion scene of Jesus. Apparently God was not a fan.