Owner Of Leonardo Painting Identified; Movie Project Unleashed
It has been a subject of much interest since the auction sold the painting for a record price. Salvator Mundi, the reputed work of Leonard0 da Vinci, was sold at Christie’s for 450 million dollars in November. The painting, described by auction house experts as the last da Vinci, is one of less than twenty paintings by the master known to exist, all but this one in the hands of museums. Who bought the painting was a mystery- at least until now.
Reporters were summoned to the production studio Platinum Dunes for a press conference. The studio, one of the production houses for Michael Bay, one of the world’s not that bright film directors, is a familiar sight to real reporters who have been sent off on punishment assignments by grouchy editors (editor: shut up! I hate you!), as well as entertainment reporters. This reporter, who is in a state of persistent hostility with his cranky editor (editor: what did I just say? Shut up!) and who even has a restraining order in place to deny said cranky editor any personal contact (editor: I am dreaming of attending your funeral and spitting on your coffin) was among those sent off to the press conference.
Real reporters gathered amid a horde of entertainment reporters. The latter were gushing, speculating on what might be announced. The former group were wondering why they deserved being subjected to Michael Bay press conferences (editor: because you’re an insufferable bastard who deserves nothing but torment!). A spokesperson came out on stage, where a podium and full length mirror had been set up. She called for attention, and the entertainment reporters finally settled down. “Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the one, the only, the esteemed… Michael Bay!”
The entertainment reporters broke out into rapturous applause. The real reporters rolled their eyes collectively. Bay came out on stage, smiling in that usual vacant way of his, his eyes carrying the usual amused but not playing with a full deck of cards expression (editor: stop making fun of Michael Bay! He’s a great director!). He stopped by the podium, smiled at his reflection, and faced his audience. “Thank you! Thank you so much! It’s great to see you! And it must be great for you to see me! Of course it is!”
He paused, looked back in the mirror again, and winked at himself. Then he carried on. “You know, I’ve got a lot of things going on. Movie projects in the pipeline, long overdue acceptance speeches for the Oscars. Lots and lots of things. But the one thing I don’t have yet is something precious I can call my own, and then blow sky high to kingdom come, as they say. Until now. Could we have the curtain, please?”
The stage curtains behind him were drawn away. Standing alone there was Salvator Mundi, lit up in a soft spotlight. “Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Salvator Mundi. Or as I’m going to rename it, The Platinum Dunes Surfer Dude by Leonardo da Vinci, courtesy of Michael Bay. That’s the full title, by the way.”
The entertainment reporters broke out into applause. Bay kept grinning. This reporter spoke up. “You expect us to believe you bought the last Leonardo?”
Bay nodded. “Of course I did. I’ve made billions of dollars down through the years making movies and blowing stuff up. Lots of people come to see my movies, so I’ve made a killing in the industry. So why not spend half a billion bucks to buy a painting? Especially considering what I’m going to do to it. We’re talking the most expensive effects shot of all time, in my coming feature film, titled Leonardo’s Revenge. Isn’t that a great title?”
This reporter shook his head while entertainment reporters gushed. “Are you crazy?”
Bay looked confused. “Why do people keep asking me that? I’m perfectly rational, especially when I’m blowing stuff up. Now then, let’s talk about the plot. We’re talking about a film with hot babes waxing sports cars and Aerosmith themes and chases and explosions and hot babes and did I mention the explosions? We’re talking about a master thief, Jack Voleur, out to steal the impossible. We’re talking about his one weakness, the woman who got away. And we’re talking about the villain, the evil Russian oligarch arms dealer. And now, ladies and gentlemen, playing my lead, one of my favourite actors, and I know he’s one of yours… give a big hand to Nicolas Cage!”
Cage came out on stage and waved to the crowd, staggering a bit as he strode over to Bay. “Hey there! I’m glad to be part of this big film, and we’re gonna have a blast doing it. Emphasis on a blast, because that’s what Michael Bay films are all about.”
Bay nodded. “That’s right, and we’re gonna make it a big blast!”
A Reuters reporter spoke up. “You said something about the most expensive effects shot of all time.”
Bay nodded. “Yes, yes. I’ve always wanted to know what it would be like to take an item of incredible historic and artistic significance like this Leonardo and, well… destroy it in every conceivable way. So as part of the movie, we’re going to be blowing up the Leonardo.”
The entertainment reporters seemed confused. Real reporters spoke up in outrage. “You can’t do that!” this reporter objected.
“Why not? I own the piece of crap now,” Bay retorted.
“It’s a Leonardo!” the Reuters correspondent pointed out.
“Yes, well, I asked the Louvre to sell me the Mona Lisa so I could blow that up, but they told me to go **** myself. I don’t know why people say that to me. Maybe they’re just jealous of my sheer genius. Anyway, it’s going to be a big blast of a film. Cat burglars, arms dealers, hot babes, art getting blown up. What’s not to like? Thanks for coming out!”
Bay and Cage headed off stage, leaving puzzled reporters in their wake. Entertainment reporters were wondering how to spell Leonardo. Real reporters were making calls to Christie’s to inquire as to why they were so foolish to allow the sale of a master’s painting to a cultural barbarian. Art experts began quickly demanding that Bay surrender the painting to a reputable gallery. And this reporter’s cranky editor kept making excuses for Bay at every… (editor: shut up or I’ll have Bay tie you up to the painting before he blows it up!)
In the opinion of this reporter, his cranky editor needs a few decades of anger management therapy.