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This review is from: The Life of Leonardo Da Vinci ( 1972 ) Compleet Miniserie [ dutch import ]
This is an Italian TV drama from the seventies about the life of Leonardo da Vinci. When I sat down to watch it (I was doing research for work and expected to spend the entire time fast forwarding until I got suitable pieces) My mouth fell open and I watched it until it was time for bed. It is the most surreal piece of TV work I have ever come across. It shows the life of Leonardo acted out , but intruding on the scenes is a narrator, an Italian with a tight seventies suit and a natty little beard, who walks into the scenes of Renaissance magnificence and talks about Leonardo. Nobody can see him. They walk around him as though he is a ghost. And the most disturbing scenes are when Leonardo is young, and you have this weird little man spying at children who can't see him.
It also includes the funniest scene I have ever seen. Leonardo is talking to his his father, a very serious talk, with the baby on the floor playing with a cat. The father, a big man, gets up and steps squarely on the cat, the cat goes crazy, yowls and runs off, and the actor very impressively says "oh, go to the devil". I had to watch it several times to believe my eyes. ANd I can't believe they used the footage. It was obviously a mistake, and film is very expensive, so I suppose they thought it would go unnoticed. But with modern "be kind to animal" eyes, this really stands out.
THe story of Leonardo is fascinating, and this is well researched, but it will colour your opinion of the man, and might take away from the mystery, because this work is slightly fictional and they do fill in the gaps with what they think might have happened, and they make Leonardo out to be a bit sleazy to modern, non Italian eyes. So if you have a fondness for the personality as a myth, then better not to watch this. Otherwise it is an entertaining and informative look at a great man.