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Life & Works of Mc Escher [VHS] (1999)

 NR |  VHS Tape
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Acorn Media
  • VHS Release Date: September 11, 1999
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 1569383065
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #335,756 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Perhaps the most instantly recognizable graphic artist in history, M.C. Escher tirelessly produced eye-bending lithographs and woodcuts that played with the viewers' sense of perspective and dimension. The Life and Works of M.C. Escher follows the man from his childhood in the Netherlands through his extended stay in southern Italy, and finally northward to Switzerland and back home, where he produced some of his most challenging work. Including beautiful footage of the Mediterranean landscapes, interviews with Escher, and many of his works (both famous and obscure), this video presents a classic portrait of a man obsessed with his work, sacrificing his family life for the sake of his art. Though he achieved some fame before his death in 1972, it seems certain that he would be amazed at his ever-growing popularity since then. Not flashy, not flamboyant, Escher simply made art that excited him. We can learn a lot from that. --Rob Lightner

From the Back Cover

M.C. Escher loathed the word "art" and described himself as "an idle cricket in a world of ants." How ironic that this same man has an appeal unequaled by any other in his profession, and that his art decorates millions of posters, t-shirts, ties and computer screens. What motivated Escher to create such intricate designs and patterning in his art? Featuring a rare interview with the artist himself, The Life and Works of M.C. Escher takes an in-depth look at Escher and his brilliant work. The program traces his career path and personal life, from the early years in Italy, to his move to Switzerland and subsequent turn inward for inspiration.

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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bach for the eye May 4, 1999
A while ago, every college student who could read was reading a mighty tome titled "Godel, Escher, Bach." M.C. Escher was a Dutch artist who posed for himself the challenge of putting into an etching the same effect that Bach achieved in his music. Now this would seem meaningless to anyone who does not appreciate the great complexity of some of Bach's music in which a theme would slowly change into another in such a way that the listener is aware of it only after the change has occurred. To match this magic in illustrations, Escher developed an optical illusion technique in which-for example-he depicted men going down a rectangular flight of stairs, which is quite impossible to recreate in real life. (They stole this idea in the recent "Avengers" film, you might recall.) Not only did he give us marvels of false perspectives like that, but he was expert at taking diverse shapes and fitting them together so that the page is filled entirely with (let us say) angels while the spaces between them are in the shape of demons. As you might expect, the life of the artist is as fascinating as his works. So I am happy to let you know that Acorn Media has released a wonderful 60-minute video about The Life and Works of M.C. Escher. Using illustrations from his works and shots of locales in which he lived and interviews with the man himself, the tape does a lovely job in tying in the personality of the artist with his art. And you might recognize the picture on the cover as one very prominent on T-shirts, posters, and other backgrounds for sale in recent years. This video is even better.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars VHS Video format - not an Audio cassette. April 19, 2003
Just to set the record straight - this item is a (wonderful) VHS video cassette - not an Audio cassette! A fascinating portrait of a man totally committed to his art. The interviews are in Dutch with English subtitles, so you can hear the meticulous speech of the master craftsman. The views he expresses are much more those associated with the intuitive artist than of the artisan you might expect. On geometric shapes: "Feel them - hold a model of a cube in your hands and those wonderful symmetries become apparent". Quite inspiring!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A documentary masterpiece August 30, 2006
The definitive video documentary of M.C. Escher does not exist. Trust me, I've looked. Such a video would portray the graphic artist's life, personality, and psyche convincingly. It would map his creative process, charting change and growth across his lifespan. It would feature friends, family, artists, perceptual scientists, mathematicians and philosophers. It would explain the mathematical gymnastics and perceptual principles underlying fantastic images and illusions. It would show antecedents such as Arabian mosaics or Hogarth's classic frontispiece. It would introduce Escher's contemporaries like Oscar Reutersvard and Roger Penrose, and consider Escher's legacy, as reflected in the art and science of Roger Shepard, Scott Kim, Vladimir Kush, Octavio Ocampo, David MacDonald, Irvine Peacock, Rob Gonsalves, Akiyoshi Kitayoka, and others. And of course, the video would provide original, mind-bending animations that move and act in ways implied by Escher's still images. Without fantastic visuals that go beyond anything that you can find in a book, why would you even need a video presentation? It is important to get this part right because Escher's art ripens with prolonged, deep inspection. Brief video clips deprive Escher's intricate universe of its essence.

Even though I did not find my dream documentary on Escher, I did find this first-rate film which I recommend wholeheartedly. "The Life and Works of M.C. Escher" (Acorn Media, 1998, 60 min) was originally released as "Metamorphose: MC Escher, 1898-1972" (Cinemedia, NPS, Radio Netherlands television). Besides this documentary, I found other materials including documentaries, interviews, animations and video clips, and have discussed these resources in my Amazon review of "The Fantastic World of M.C.
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