Hot Art

Created by Bill Thisdell, The Pitch 2017

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Hot Art is a crime thriller about a stolen painting which leads three thieves to grapple with conflicts inherent to human nature and the art it reflects: vanity and jealousy versus beauty and truth. After burgling a wealthy home, Reuben, Judah and Simeon hide out and sort their loot: jewelry, designer goods and a painting of a young man. They’re shocked that their robbery makes front-page news: the painting, “Joseph”, is worth millions. The trio argue over their next move. Judah, envious of the wealthy, is prepared to run risks to sell it. Simeon loathes the elite but wants no trouble - burn it and get out, he says. Reuben is mesmerised by Joseph’s transcendent beauty; he cannot bear to see it destroyed, so suggests hiding it until the case cools down. Secretly, he hopes to return it to safety. Reluctantly, Judah and Simeon agree to hide it. A couple days later, Reuben returns to look at the painting and - it’s gone! Did Judah sell it? Did Simeon burn it? All Reuben knows is that a thing of beauty has been lost - and he had failed to confront his gang brothers and take bold action to save it.

Biblical Connection

Genesis 37: 19-30 While the story of Joseph and his brothers shows that God's will shall ultimately prevail, it exposes the sin of jealousy and its extreme consequences. Of Jacob’s twelve sons, Joseph is the clear favourite. The others resent Joseph, who makes the situation worse by retelling dreams through which God sends him messages, including one where his family bows to him in reverence; even Jacob is irritated by such insensitivity. Joseph speaks truth but also displays vanity. One day ten brothers are far from home tending sheep when Jacob sends Joseph with a message. This moment - Joseph is alone - presents an opportunity to act, and they conspire to kill him. Reuben and Judah save Joseph from death; rather than kill him, Reuben wants to put him down a dry well and Judah suggests selling him to passing slave traders. In the end Judah extracts Joseph from the well and sells him, thwarting Reuben’s secret plan to pull him out and bring him home. Reuben wanted Joseph to escape, but was cowardly and left the way open to his brothers’ baser instincts. While God’s will prevails in the long term, this film focuses on Reuben’s crisis of conscience.