Tim's Vermeer

You may have seen all the Oscar bait December releases, but here is a best of the year candidate that probably isn’t on your radar. Tim’s Vermeer is one of 2013′s best films – A funny, maddening & inspiring journey that may even change art history.

The film, crafted by Magician duo Penn & Teller, has nothing to do with magic or magicians at all (at least in the obvious sense). Remember, Penn Jillette also produced the hilarious 2005 documentary The Aristocrats. Although it should be noted that this film is Teller‘s feature directorial debut.

Tim’s Vermeer tells the story of one man’s obsession to accomplish the near impossible, and paint a Vermeer with almost no art skills what-so-ever. Along the way he may prove that one of the greatest painters of the Dutch Golden Age could have used unforeseen technology advances to create some of the greatest regarded paintings of all time. And while the film is about one man’s journey, it is also an exploration of the intersection of art and technology — If Vermeer invented and used advanced technology to help create his art, was he “cheating”? Is the art somehow less incredible knowing the process? Watch the trailer now embedded after the jump.

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Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: What better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? This week we  talk about boobs, get lurid with our Instamatic, give some northerners a taste of sunshine, and set out to explain the ways of Vermeer with Teller.
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Tims Vermeer

Of all the films that got incredible buzz out of last week’s Telluride Film Festival (12 Years A Slave, Labor Day, Gravity, etc.) one stood out just because it sounded so very different. That film was Tim’s Vermeer, a documentary by noted magicians Penn and Teller. Penn produced and Teller directed the film, which follows inventor Tim Jenison on his attempt to duplicate the famous painting The Music Lesson by Johannes Vermeer. Jenison surmises that Vermeer may not have painted all his famous works by hand, instead using technology to aide in the creation. By attempting this, Jenison (as well as Penn and Teller) question the very nature of art itself.

Below, we’ve got a clip from the film that makes that above paragraph a bit more clear, as well as some early buzz from noted film critics. Read More »

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