The Horse’s Mouth – 1958 – dir. Ronald Neame
In the comic film The Horse’s Mouth, (dir. Ronald Neame, 1958), Alec Guinness plays an irrepressibly antic and irresponsible artist, in what has been called the most realistic onscreen portrayal of what makes an artist tick. When we first meet him, Gulley Jimson is jut getting out of jail, where he has been locked up for harassing his patron, the wealthy [name], for more commissions and more money. The very first thing he does is make straight for the phone booth to call him again. Jimson lives the pure artist’s life, a bohemian existence on a houseboat, concerned only for his painting and the freedom that inspired it. No poseur, he simply lives for art. And despite his not being overly concerned to make friends and influence people, he has friends who look after him, patrons that are mad for his work, and fellow artists who both beleaguer and entertain him, as they reflect all his contradictions right back at him.