13 Edward Hopper Paintings Recreated As Sets For Indie Film “Shirley: Visions of Reality”

Posted on


Edward Hopper was an American Realist master painter. His brush helped define the visual identity of what life in America was for the average person in the 1920s-30s. Hopper’s paintings like Nighthawks and Automat are deeply stitched into the fabric of what Americana is. Viennese director Gustav Deutsch created “Shirley: Visions of Reality” as an ode to Hopper’s compositional mastery.  In Shirley, thirteen of Hopper’s paintings have been selected and reproduced as three-dimensional scenes in the film. These scenes tell the story of a woman, whose thoughts, emotions and contemplations lets us observe an era in American history.


Shirley is a woman in America in the 1930s, ‘40s, ‘50s, and early ‘60s. As the film creators mention, Shirley is ” a woman who would like to influence the course of history with her professional and socio-political involvement. A woman who does not accept the reality of the Depression years, WWII, the McCarthy era, race conflicts and civil rights campaigns as given but rather as generated and adjustable. A woman whose work as an actress has familiarised her with the staging of reality, the questioning and shaping of it; an actress who doesn’t identify her purpose and future with that of solo success or stardom but who strives to give social potency to theatre as part of a collective. A woman who cannot identify with the traditional role model of a wife yet longs to have a life partner. A woman who does not compromise in moments of professional crisis and is not afraid to take on menial jobs to secure her livelihood. A woman who in a moment of private crisis decides to stick with her partner and puts her own professional interest on the back burner. A woman who is infuriated by political repression yet not driven to despair, and who has nothing but disdain for betrayal. Shirley, an attractive, charismatic, committed, emancipated woman.”


Check out the gorgeous trailer to this wonderful work of art above. We’ve also showcased film stills compared with Hopper’s paintings below, as well as behind the scenes set shots at the very end! The credits are also after the jump.









































Shirley: Stephanie Cumming
Stephen: Christoph Bach
Mr Antrobus / Cinema Goer: Florentin Groll
Mrs Antrobus / Cinema Goer / First Train Passenger: Elfriede Irrall
Chief Clerk: Tom Hanslmaier
and Yarina Gurtner Vargas, Peter Zech, Alfred Schibor, Jeff Burrell, Jim Libby, Dennis Kozeluh, Anne Weiner, Julien Avedikian






Team Installation Kunsthalle Wien:
Concept und Realisation: Gustav Deutsch
Illusionary painting and colour concept: Hanna Schimek
Assistence painting: Peter Niedermair
Object design: Richard Pirker
Architectural Advice: Arch DI Franz Berzl
Support: Filmfonds Wien, BMUKK Innovative Film, Kunsthalle Wien


Team Palazzo Reale:
Concept und Realisation: Gustav Deutsch
Illusionary painting and colour concept: Hanna Schimek
Object Design: Richard Pirker
Architectural Advice: Arch DI Franz Berzl
Management Milano: Arthemisia
Support: Palazzo Reale


[Special thanks to If It’s Hip, It’s Here for much of this information]