5 films about the Masters & The Met, New York


As QAGOMA opened its doors to the exhibition, ‘European Masterpieces from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York‘, the Australian Cinémathèque, GOMA curated a selection of insightful and playful films that delve into the history of the Masters and the modern-day museum with ‘The Met: The Masters and the Modern Day‘.

RELATED: More 5 FILM suggestions to watch

Fanatical collectors, the world’s most prestigious fashion event and a painter scorned

#1 Caravaggio 1986

A fictionalised re-telling of the life of painter Michelangelo Merisi de Caravaggio, Derek Jarman’s award winning 1986 biopic of this master of chiaroscuro rivals the visually sumptuous nature of the paintings themselves. Featuring the debut performances of Tilda Swinton and Sean Bean, Caravaggio 1986 is a haunting cinematic portrait that reimagines key events in the life of this Italian Baroque Master.

Caravaggio 1986 / Director: Derek Jarman

#2 Mr. Turner 2014

Mr Turner 2014 is a detailed and visually sumptuous account of the last twenty-five years in the life of the romantic English painter, Joseph Mallord William Turner. Actor Timothy Spall creates a rich and austere portrait of one of the world’s most well renowned (and eccentric) recluses and the events leading up to his eventual passing.

Mr. Turner 2014 / Director: Mike Leigh

#3 The First Monday in May 2016

Once a year on the first Monday in May, the steps of The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York are filled with celebrities dressed in the latest couture from the fashion houses of McQueen, Versace, Dior and many more. Established in 1948, ‘The Met Gala’ is one of the most prestigious events in the Museum’s calendar and is an opportunity for the world’s most renowned designers to showcase their latest creations and raise funds for the Costume Institute. The First Monday in May 2016 directed by Andrew Rossi, follows Costume Institute curator, Andrew Bolton as he prepares for the exhibition opening of ‘China: Through The Looking Glass’, a major design survey exploring the impact of Chinese aesthetics on Western fashion.

The First Monday in May 2016 / Director: Andrew Rossi

#4 At Eternity’s Gate 2018

How did Vincent Van Gogh really die? This beautifully filmed biopic of one of the world’s most enigmatic painters draws on the revisionist theory from biographers Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith that proposes a new cause behind this iconic painter’s untimely death. William Defoe delivers an Oscar nominated performance as Van Gogh and interestingly, is also the artist behind a number of the in-progress paintings featured in the film.

At Eternity’s Gate 2018 / Director: Julain Schnabel

#5 My Rembrandt 2019

Can you ever have enough Rembrandt? Not according to some of the world’s leading art collectors. My Rembrandt explores the passion and obsession of Rembrandt fanatics from around the world by delving into the relationships that they have with the paintings that they own.

My Rembrandt 2019 / Director: Oeke Hoogendijk

Was that set in The Met, New York?

Despite strict protocols regarding filming, The Met has a rich history of on-screen appearances. Whether that’s Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan walking through the Egyptian galleries in When Harry Met Sally 1989; Pierce Brosnan’s Magritte-inspired escape sequence in the 1999 remake of the Thomas Crown Affair or the elaborate jewel heist in Oceans 8 2018, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is a modern day muse that’s as iconic as the artists in its collection.

Victoria Wareham, Australian Cinémathèque, QAGOMA

When Harry Met Sally 1989 / Rob Reiner

Thomas Crown Affair 1999 / Director: John McTiernan

Oceans 8 2018 / Director: Gary 

QAGOMA is the only Australian art gallery with purpose-built facilities dedicated to film and the moving image. The Australian Cinémathèque at the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) provides an ongoing program of film and video that you’re unlikely to see elsewhere, offering a rich and diverse experience of the moving image, showcasing the work of influential filmmakers and international cinema, rare 35mm prints, recent restorations and silent films with live musical accompaniment on the Gallery’s Wurlitzer organ originally installed in Brisbane’s Regent Theatre in November 1929.

This Australian-exclusive exhibition was at the Gallery of Modern Art from 12 June until 17 October 2021 and organised by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, in collaboration with the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art and Art Exhibitions Australia.

Featured image: Screenshot from The First Monday in May 2016 / Director: Andrew Rossi


  1. Fabulous opportunity for Brisbane residents!
    Many many Thanks to Brisbane Art Gallery’s hard work.