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.
Continue reading: Tim's Vermeer Review
NewTek co-founder and visual imaging software inventor Tim Jenison has spent his career perfecting the art of graphic imagery but, rather than hoping to create more realistic graphics than has ever been created before, he spends most of his time marvelling at the genius of 17th century Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer, whose most famous painting - 'The Girl With A Pearl Earring' - continues to baffle all who look upon it with its immense detail that should've pre-dated any photography. Though Jenison is not a painter, he embarks on a mission to achieve that level of artistic genius as he goes about attempting to put together his very own Vermeer using the same techniques as Vermeer himself with a little help from ultra-famous modern artists and professors in the fields of visual perception, architecture and photography.
'Tim's Vermeer' is an art documentary by Primetime Emmy nominated illusionist duo Penn & Teller. Directed by Teller and produced by Penn Jillette ('Penn & Teller: Bullshit!'), the film features appearances from painter David Hockney, comedian Martin Mull, Professor Philip Steadman (author of 'Vermeer's Camera: Uncovering the Truth Behind the Masterpieces') and Professor of Neuroscience Colin Blakemore. Nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards and at the Satellite Awards, 'Tim's Vermeer' will be released in the UK on January 17th 2014.
Penn Jillette Friday 12th October 2012 NBC's 'Celebrity Apprentice: All-Stars' cast announced at Jack Studios
The Celebrity Apprentice has revealed its cast for its forthcoming new series. Donald Trump returns to host the show and there are fourteen "celebrities" (the term appears to be getting more and more loosely judging by the names involved) who will be vying for the attention of the business mogul.
Ready for some the list, then? Here you go: BRET MICHAELS, Trace Adkins, Lil Jon, Marilu Henner, Lisa Rinna, La Toya Jackson, Gary Busey, Stephen Baldwin, Penn Jillette and Omarosa are among the names included for the forthcoming season. Busey's a personal favourite of ours thanks to his hilariously awful turn in the 1992 classic 'Under Siege'. If this season goes anything like that film, expect Busey to be bursting out of a cake dressed as a woman and wearing lipstick. Will it be enough to win him the competition? Hard to tell.
Stephen Baldwin commented on the show "So far it's been very sweet and peaceful and calm, but that's kind of scary. I think we've got a couple of zingers coming. It should be very exciting." Bret Michaels comeback to the show will hopefully be a smoother one for him. The Poison front man won the 2010 edition of the program, but did so whilst battling serious health problems. "I was really sick, and this time I'm ready to come back, but being a lifelong diabetic, I'm ready," he said. The winner, as usual, gains $250,000 for a charity of their choice. and a badly needed profile boost.
Penn Jillette and Emily Zolten - Penn Jillette, Emily Zolten New York City, USA - out and about in Manhattan Tuesday 15th January 2008
Tracing its origins to vaudeville, this "comic's joke" is tantamount to a secret handshake among comedians and their friends. Although versions vary widely, it basically goes like this: A man seeking show biz representation walks into a talent agent's office and describes his family's act, which consists of various illegal and unspeakable activities including incest, bestiality, necrophilia, and an explosion of bodily fluids. After the man finishes, the appalled agent asks what this horrible act is called, to which the man responds, "The Aristocrats!"
Continue reading: The Aristocrats Review