Long before satellites would journey to planets and deep-space telescopes would photograph distant galaxies, there was an artist whose dazzling visions of planets and stars would capture the imagination of all who beheld them. Before that, he was an architect working on projects like the Chrysler Building and the Golden Gate Bridge. He would later become a matte painter in Hollywood working on films like Citizen Kane and Destination Moon. Who was this remarkable man? His name was Chesley Bonestell (1888-1986).
Chesley Bonestell’s mesmerizing depiction of “Saturn As Seen From Titan” became known as “the painting that launched a thousand careers.” Told by the many people who were influenced by Chesley Bonestell or knew him personally and punctuated with rare interview footage of the artist himself, the documentary compellingly chronicles the life of a quiet, artistic visionary, whose architecture and space art continue to inspire us to reach for the stars.
“There isn’t an artist that’s painting today in the science fiction fantasy field who didn’t start with Chesley Bonestell,” says legendary science fiction author Ray Bradbury in the first film ever made about the man dubbed “The Father of Space Art.”
Following both screenings, a very special audience Q&A will take place with Producer/Director/Writer Douglass M. Stewart, Jr. and one of the film’s Co-Producers, Melvin Schuetz who is also a Bonestell historian and author of “A Chesley Bonestell Space Art Chronology.” Mr. Schuetz, along with renowned space artist and author of more than fifty books about art, science and space, co-producer Ron Miller, collaborated with Frederick C. Durant III to produce the Hugo Award-winning book, “The Art of Chesley Bonestell.” Also joining the Q&A is architect and photographer, Robert E. David. In the late 1970s, Mr. David came across Chesley’s original paintings of the Golden Gate Bridge and in a special visit to Bonestell’s home, allowed the artist to complete the paintings in a very significant way. The Jean Cocteau Cinema will also be featuring an impressive mini-exhibition of Ron Miller’s space art in their lobby/gallery area for both screening events.