the_lady_lily: (Time is running out)
the_lady_lily ([personal profile] the_lady_lily) wrote2014-11-30 01:46 pm
Entry tags:

Filmography

Mr Turner

We went to see this in an actual cinema, which is very exciting (believe it or not). I'm glad we did, because some of the vistas are magnificent - lots of landscape shots, beautiful lighting, all of that good stuff. The film is a biopic, roughly speaking of the artist Turner; it joins him when he's already established himself as an artist, and then follows him through to the end of his life. There are some really interesting themes - the distinction between nature and culture; of earthy art and pretentious art (beautifully lampooned in a cameo of Ruskin); questions of deception and honesty; and generally some interesting exploration of what it means to be an artist and create, spurred in part by the invention of photography. Not that Mike Leigh would ever be self-reflective. Oh no.

Timothy Spall turns in an excellent performance, which really captures some fundamental contradictions in Turner's character which the later pre-Raphaelites would clearly have found quite difficult to cope with. There's also a nice line in suppressed stories - that is, there's enough space left for silence and looks to communicate without a need to over-explain, provide back-story and so on.

Also a mild obsession with framing things - door frames, window frames etc.

It's a lyrical piece, that arguably could have been shorter, but you don't begrudge it the ramble - it builds up a picture of character gradually rather than trying to give you a neat narrative, and does so through various short episodes which make some sort of connected sense but don't feel the need to generate an artificial linkage beyond the main protagonist. I did very much enjoy it, but I suspect others might find Leigh's languid approach a little long-winded - still, it's beautiful stuff.

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