Monday, October 01, 2018

"Amazon Sued Over Use of Artist’s Work in ‘Suspiria’"

The artist is Ana Mendieta; Suspiria is the new movie by Luca Guadagnino (who directed last year's Call Me By Your Name), a remake of a 1977 Dario Argento horror film.  Variety story here, which includes the following:

"The suit alleges that the 'Suspiria' trailer, which was released in June, contained two images that were derived from Mendieta’s work. One image showed a woman’s hands bound with rope across a white table, which was alleged to be derived from 'Rape Scene.' The second showed a silhouette of a body on a sheet, which the estate claimed was based on 'Silueta Series.'

"The estate sent a cease and desist letter to Amazon in July. In late August, Amazon dropped a second trailer that did not contain the images. The studio screened the film for the estate’s agent in early September, after it premiered at the Venice Film Festival.

"According to the suit, the two images had been removed from the film, but the agent flagged eight others that also bore similarities to Mendieta’s work."

Brian Frye tweets:  "The lawyers for the estate will be so sad when they learn that copyright doesn’t protect style or ideas. Will this even survive a motion to dismiss? I hope not."

But Lee Thomas-Mason posts some side-by-side comparisons and it's not at all obvious to me that these (especially the first two, which it seems have been removed from the film?) fall on the idea side of the idea-expression divide.

I predict a settlement.