Above all, this is not a boring slideshow lecture. The narrator states that Magritte didn't like the word "dreamlike." However, that is the obvious adjective that comes to mind and this documentary tries to be as dreamlike as his oeuvre. If you liked Taymor's "Frida" or Madonna's "Bedtime Story," then you should like this. The company's installation on multi-genre artist Jean Cocteau had the same quality.
Surprisingly, the work doesn't pay much attention to "Ceci n'est pas une pipe." Also, the painter's childhood only comes up mid-way into the work. The narrator sometimes mispronounces French words. The work says Magritte married one woman and almost only used her for posing. I'm so used to hearing about the womanizing of famous artists, oops and politicians, that it was shocking to hear of a famous man being so faithful. The narrator said the couple had no children and I wish it was explained why. Was it by choice, inattention, or infertility?
So many artists have left us few works. Vermeer, Frida Kahlo, Edmonia Lewis, and others come to mind. However, this work says Magritte painted each day for 40 years. He had a detested "cow period" of which I never knew. When I was in college, almost every student had a poster by Dali, a Magritte contemporary, on her or his wall. I'm surprised that Magritte's work has not been equally embraced as it is just as imaginative and allows one's mind to wonder.
Magritte said his work had no meaning. "The only thing behind it is the wall." I'm not sure if that was a lie on his part. Remember how people said "Seinfeld" was "a show about nothing"? Magritte's statement leaves me similarly skeptical.