Tim's Vermeer [Blu-ray]  [US Import]
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Couple of comments: first, this documentary is made (and narrated) by Penn, he of Penn & Teller. Turns out that Penn and Tim have known each other for many years, and it's easy to see why this particular topic would have peaked Penn's interest enough to make it into a documentary. Second, the feeling of the documentary is pretty much one of a crime caper, in that we get to find out in detail how Tim goes about testing his various theories and his recreation of "The Music Lesson". Third, if you don't care for art, in particular painting, save yourself the trouble and catch another movie, as obviously the entire 'raison d'être' of the documentary is the making of a painting. At some point during his recreation of the painting, Tim gives an exhausted look towards the camera and sighs "it's like watching paint dry", much to the delight of the theater's crowd, which exploded in laughter.Read more ›
This film explores the thread begun by Philip Steadman Vermeer's Camera: Uncovering the Truth Behind the Masterpiecesand taken up by David Hockney Secret Knowledge: Rediscovering the lost techniques of the Old Mastersthat Vermeer used optical technology to enable him to paint using subtleties of tone that the eye/brain is incapable of distinguishing simply by looking at an object or space.
Using a blend of camera obscura-like technology and a carefully angled mirror, Tim Jenison, an inventor and video processing expert, paints a remarkably accurate replica of Vermeer's 'The Music Lesson': it takes him about 130 days to paint the picture and almost as many before that to produce an almost fetishistically accurate physical copy of the room in which the picture was painted. Tim makes all the furniture, paints, lenses himself, and this aspect of the film becomes a little repetitive and helps to channel the film too much away from Vermeer and too much towards Tim as our OCD hero. (I'm glad he actually bought the carpet, as this would have extended the set up section even more!)
This is very interesting, albeit at times a little irritating, and edges the story too much towards 'Novice Painter Paints Like A Master' and the fallacious conclusion that knowing how Vermeer 'did it' makes him a less remarkable artist, at least for the less art savvy viewer. This is not addressed clearly or directly enough.Read more ›
and poetic vision. If you want to understand Vermeer I suggest that you read Z Herbert's story, Letter, in the collection Still Life with a bridle, that says everything you ever need to know about the artist in a few pages, written by one genius about another.
All in all this project proves beyond doubt that Vermeer (and many other artists) used early camera technology in producing their work. This is not cheating but merely using the best tools for the job at that point in time.
A truly fantastic and insightful story and documentary. Just make sure you get and watch the full and unedited version to fully appreciate the whole concept.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Yes, no other word for it: superb. Grabbed my attention from the outset. A fabulous piece of forensic history, well told and well-filmed. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Tina
Fantastic documentary. I'm not 'into art' but still found this a fascinating watch. Highly recommend!Published 3 months ago by drew42
Interesting but I didn't realise I had to pay £10.99 to watch it. Definitely not worth the price. Feel I have been ripped off but it will make me more vigilant when next watching... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Bim
Stupid region coding meant it was unable to play on my Blu Ray player. Honestly I thought they had grown out of such ridiculous restrictions that cause nothing but problems for the... Read morePublished 12 months ago by J. P. B. Webster
I think Tim basically solved the Vermeer mystery, and anyone who says otherwise is talking nonsense. Very entertaining.Published 14 months ago by Mr. R. W. M. Jones