Tim's Vermeer

"Excellent"

Tim's Vermeer Review


When Penn & Teller turn their hand to documentary filmmaking, we know it's going to be something playful. Indeed, this is a hugely entertaining film, gripping us with a fascinating story that has a lot to say about the interplay between art and technology. It's also a witty exploration of one of history's most iconic painters.

Tim Jenison is a successful inventor in Austin, Texas. A nerd with too much money and time on his hands, he becomes fascinated with the 17th century Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer, whose paintings have an uncanny photographic quality to them. Experts like David Hockney have long wondered how Vermeer achieved this realism, suggesting that optic lenses were probably involved. So Tim sets out to find the secret, developing a lens and a set of mirrors to recreate one of Vermeer's most complex paintings, The Music Lesson. And even though he has no artistic skill, his result may change art history forever.

It also forces us to reconsider how we define artistry, because clearly technology is another tool an artist uses. Penn & Teller hold our interest by peeling away the layers and letting us see Vermeer's magic (they also hint that the film itself might be a trick). The fact is that Vermeer created photorealistic images 150 years before the advent of photography, and no one has previously been able to explain how he did it. But whatever process he used also proves his artistic skills, simply because it involves so much creative thinking.

And this is the journey we watch Tim go through. He's a terrific screen character, a likeable guy whose curiosity drives him to visit Vermeer's hometown and learn glazing so he can grind his own lens. He even tries to get into Buckingham Palace, where the original painting hangs. Penn & Teller find hilarious asides all the way along, tracing Tim's 11-year project to crack Vermeer's secret, and specifically the 130 days recreating The Music Lesson. This is essential viewing for anyone who wonders about the line between technical objectivity and artistic subjectivity. Tim claims to have no artistic talent at all, but his passion proves otherwise.

Watch 'Tim's Vermeer' Trailer



Tim's Vermeer

Facts and Figures

Genre: Documentaries

Run time: 80 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 3rd October 2013

Box Office USA: $1.7M

Distributed by: Sony Pictures Classics

Production compaines: High Delft Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 89%
Fresh: 101 Rotten: 12

IMDB: 7.9 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: , Farley Ziegler

Starring: Colin Blakemore as Himself, as Himself, Tim Jenison as Himself, as Himself, as Himself, as Himself, Philip Steadman as Himself

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to...

The Salesman Movie Review

The Salesman Movie Review

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar with this astute drama which, like 2011's...

Get Out Movie Review

Get Out Movie Review

Leave it to a comedian to make one of the scariest movies in recent memory....

Personal Shopper Movie Review

Personal Shopper Movie Review

After winning a series of major awards for her role in Olivier Assayas' Clouds of...

Certain Women Movie Review

Certain Women Movie Review

In films like Wendy and Lucy and Meek's Cutoff, writer-director Kelly Reichardt has told sharply...

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

After the success of 2014's Godzilla reboot, the Warner Bros monsters get their own franchise,...

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Filmmaker Gurinder Chada (Bend It Like Beckham) draws on her own family history to explore...

Advertisement
Trespass Against Us Movie Review

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

With an extra dose of attitude and energy, this Irish comedy-drama hits us like a...

Logan Movie Review

Logan Movie Review

Hugh Jackman returns to his signature role one last time (so he says), reuniting with...

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

It's Only the End of the World Movie Review

It's Only the End of the World Movie Review

At just 27 years old, Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan has an almost overwhelming set of...

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.