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The Mill & The Cross (2011)

Rutger Hauer , Charlotte Rampling , Lech Majewski  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Rutger Hauer, Charlotte Rampling, Michael York
  • Directors: Lech Majewski
  • Format: AC-3, Anamorphic, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Surround Sound, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: KINO INTERNATIONAL
  • DVD Release Date: January 31, 2012
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0069W88XE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #149,030 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

From acclaimed filmmaker, Lech Majewski, comes THE MILL AND THE CROSS, a visually inspired re-staging of Pieter Bruegel's epic 1564 painting ''Way to Calvary'', presented alongside the story of its creation -- with Rutger Hauer (Hobo With a Shotgun) as Bruegel, Michael York (Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery) as his friend and art collector, and Charlotte Rampling (Babylon A.D.) as the inspiration for his Virgin Mary.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
62 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful!! October 15, 2011
Format:Blu-ray
Just saw this film at the Tivoli. Never heard of it and chose it spur-of-the-moment. The best film of its kind I've seen since The Tree of Life.Mill is based on a famous painting by Pieter Bruegel called "Way to Calvary," which depicts the Crucifixion.

The great Rutger Hauer plays Bruegel, Michael York his patron, and York's wife, Charlotte Rampling, Bruegel's reference for Mary, Jesus' mother.

This film seems much longer than its 90 min. running time due to a protracted opening where we are presented with a series of scenes that seem random, mostly scenes of everyday rustic life: a man and his wife eating breakfast in a mill, men chopping down a tree, a man and his wife having a picnic and eating bread, a woman breastfeeding her child, a spider web. This goes on for around 45 mins. and in this time there is almost no dialogue, just lingering images that look like museum paintings. This is the only thing that saves the movie's first hour, it's beauty, because there aren't 2 scenes that fit together logically. Like 2001 or the first Alien feature, this slow pace allows the viewer to appreciate the art of the film. It's truly a wonder.

Finally, the dialogue comes in with a scene showing Bruegel sitting and all of the disparate scenes together on a canvas. He then provides the context in which to see these various scenes and magically all of the previous scenes makes sense.

From this point, the film plays out to its inevitable outcome. A very good film. Not mainstream. Aside from a couple of very brief torture scenes, there's absolutely no action to speak of. This is an art film and the number of heads in the theater attested to this. But if you're looking for a good way to spend 90 mins of your life I can think of no better expenditure of time.
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46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It Should be Large Enough to Hold Everything October 16, 2011
Format:DVD
This is the reason that I love film...or at least film as an art form. Words simply cannot do justice to this multi-faceted, thought-provoking, brilliantly colored movie. It belongs to that extremely rare sub-genre of films where the director literally lets us walk inside an oil painting where the figures become "tableaux vivants". Two other such films are "The Hypothesis of the Stolen Painting" or "Rembrant's J'Accuse." But of the three, this is the most profound - and undoubtedly the most beautiful. I rank it among the 10 most gorgeous color movies I have ever seen. Should you rent or buy it...definitely select Blu-Ray because "that" will make a difference.

There are no less than four major threads to the movie. First, it is a portrait of a time and place - the Renaissance world of Pieter Bruegel in Flanders during the 16th century...a Europe of oppression, Spanish rule, and Catholic aggression toward heretics. Second, it is a story about the thought processes behind the strokes of paint, as narrated by the artist himself. Third it is a representation of the Passion of the Christ - a brilliant re-interpretation by Pieter Bruegel for his largest oil canvas "The Procession to Calvary". Last but not least, it is an exploration of our interior and exterior lives.

Obviously, in Medieval or Renaissance art, there are many artistic representations of the Passion of the Christ. But what makes this one so unusual is that Jesus is literally at the center of the picture but he is barely noticeable. There he is, collapsing, trying to lift up the cross and get to Golgotha; Christ has stumbled. Jesus is not any larger than most of the other characters in the frame of this giant oil painting.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Middle Ages Brought to Life October 24, 2011
Format:DVD
In The Mill and the Cross Polish director Lech Majeski takes the viewer into Pieter Breughel the Elder's 'The Way to Calvary', a painting which depicts Christ's path to his crucifixion in 15th Century Holland, a country then suffering under the yoke of war with Spain.

In the painting, as Breughel explains to his patron, the city of God and the tree of life appear on the left, the city of death and the tree of death, an execution wheel, on the right. Between the trees of life and death a windmill is perched high upon a mountain from where God gazes down upon his creation. In the centre, beneath his father's gaze, Christ falls on his path while, as ever in Breughel, everything turns away quite leisurely from the disaster, the crowd staring, instead, at Simon Peter being collared by soldiers to help the convicted carry his cross.

The film recreates the everyday lives, joys and sufferings of the Middle Ages, the simple commerce of the townspeople, love making in the morning, a soldier horribly executed on the wheel, the aforementioned tree of death, and a woman buried alive for an unspecified offence.

Majeski uses other images from Breughel for his tapestry, a scene recalls 'The Hunters in the Snow' and towards the end, with Christ crucified, the villagers dance, in a scene reminiscent of Breughel's wedding dance paintings.

At the film's close the camera pulls back from the painting into the modern art gallery where it hangs. The viewer sees the distant age he has been privileged to relive recede and emerges, once again, blinking, back into the modern day but with a deeper understanding of Breughel's art and his world.

Original and moving.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Challenging
This is not Walt Disney stuff. (It begins with a crucifixion on a wheel.) It gives a feeling for the brutality of the middle ages, including torture and pain. Read more
Published 29 days ago by G. R. Babineau
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful film
Watching the story of the people within the painting. It is visually delicious. A treat for the eyes. Read more
Published 1 month ago by carrie
3.0 out of 5 stars Not for a family....
Film is classical but many nude scene..Which makes this movie out of my choice.
I truly wonder if these kind of scene could have been avoided. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Nara
4.0 out of 5 stars This is a unique picture of the lives and sufferings of the people of...
This had high artistic and historical values even though the inquisition's activities in Flanders were horrible and led to the lengthy Dutch Wars with Spain..
Published 5 months ago by William T. Harper
5.0 out of 5 stars --"The Mill and the Cross" - A Masterpiece of the Creative Imagination...
There are very few films that deal with the Age of the Baroque, especially focusing on an artist. So just the subject matter of Brueghel and the creation of one his masterpieces is... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Daniel B.
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing like it
No film out there like this. Remarkable for it's content and for the vivid portrayal. It is art of art. Have viewed it several times
Published 8 months ago by Sigrid
5.0 out of 5 stars The Mill and the Cross
Purchased this movie for a Renaissance History class at college. Was completely impressed at the emotion that could be delivered, without the benefit of much dialog. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Robert T. Preston
3.0 out of 5 stars average
it is a dificult story to follow, it would have been easier if it had subtitles, a bit dark and
Published 11 months ago by Flaca
5.0 out of 5 stars Want a life changing experience?
Take time for some serious reflection. Little dialogue but a timeless message. Imagine being a part of a famous painting.
Published 11 months ago by Zeta Lady in San Diego
4.0 out of 5 stars Art Lovers Delight
Having studied some art history in high school and college, I was somewhat familiar with the artist of the painting which is the subject of the movie. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Barbara J. Zengler
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