Article by Stephanie Escobar
For great art, there must be great suffering. That is the phrase in question the film “The Great Artist” presents. The film follows a gifted artist who finds himself in a broken balance between creating world-class art. The all too silent struggle of self-care as his life begins to unravel because of his Dissociative Identity Disorder. It explores the darker sides of creativity by focusing on prominent issues such as Mental Health Disorders.
It’s a great feeling to see this film and just, in general, the arts talking about mental health. We continually see many artists advocating for mental health and making it a less taboo topic to discuss. Art is able to serve as a catalyst to start the conversation.
The phrase “For great art, there must be great suffering.” is a statement that sounds defeating but ultimately I find it beautiful. When we experience pain or hardships, we come out stronger, and I’d like to think also more knowledgeable.
Speaking to Jon Altham, the musical director for the film he said “this film brings to light an important question and statement, something which appears to impact most creatives throughout the entertainment industry. My hope is that this, along with the song “Brave” creates a conversation around mental health within the Industry, to invoke a positive change and inspire a more supportive culture within creative communities.” A statement I think many other artists in the industry can relate to.
Trailer for “The Great Artist”:
The film has won numerous awards from several film festivals including “Best Original Song”, “Best Original Music”, and “Outstanding Musical Achievement by Female Vocalist (Pia Toscano),” and more recently winning at the Hollywood Music In Media Awards for Outstanding Original Song Written for Visual Media (Short). Without a doubt all well deserved. The feature track in the film, titled “Brave” showcases the emotional journey presented on the screen. “Brave” touches on a person’s struggle and the fight to find their inner strength. To ultimately come through the other side against all odds, and find comfort in their true self.
Musically this composition was beautifully composed to add such an emotional tone with soft piano arpeggiated chords, and an orchestral assemble giving it a variety of dynamics. The sounds magnify every word that is sung to capture the struggle of finding one’s inner strength to push through our fears.
Leading into the end of the song, we have the big crescendo where Pia Toscano sings my favorite line “I found my strength/ No more hiding who I am/ I am Brave” slowly and in a softer tone. I have to say Toscano’s incredible voice adds such a magical touch that makes your eyes well up with tears when you first listen to it.
This work of art comes from the heart and it’s visible that everyone involved poured themselves into this piece. Without a doubt, it will continue to inspire many along the way.