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Tim's Vermeer [Blu-ray] (2014)

 PG-13 |  Blu-ray
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (247 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Chinese, English, French, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Audio Description: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: June 10, 2014
  • Run Time: 80 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (247 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00J5LXN2M
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,891 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Tim Jenison, a Texas-based inventor, attempts to solve one of the greatest mysteries in all art: How did Dutch master Johannes Vermeer manage to paint so photo-realistically 150 years before the invention of photography? Spanning a decade, Jenison's adventure takes him to Holland, on a pilgrimage to the North coast of Yorkshire to meet artist David Hockney, and eventually even to Buckingham Palace. The epic research project Jenison embarks on is as extraordinary as what he discovers.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
"Tim's Vermeer" (2013 release; 80 min.) brings the story of Tim Jenison, an inventor who has amassed a small fortune over his life time and now has become fascinated (obsessed may be the better word) with the 17th century Dutch master painter Johannes Vermeer. Tim examines in particular Vermeer's painting "The Music Lesson", which has an astonishing amount of details in it. Tim eventually comes to the conclusion that Vermeer used a variety of optical devices (mirrors, camera obscura, lenses), and to test his theory, he decides to recreate "The Music Lesson" from scratch, even though he is not a skilled painter by any means. To tell you more would ruin your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: first, this documentary is made (and narrated) by Penn, he of Penn & Teller. Turns out that Penn and Tim have known each other for many years, and it's easy to see why this particular topic would have peaked Penn's interest enough to make it into a documentary. Second, the feeling of the documentary is pretty much one of a crime caper, in that we get to find out in detail how Tim goes about testing his various theories and his recreation of "The Music Lesson". Third, if you don't care for art, in particular painting, save yourself the trouble and catch another movie, as obviously the entire 'raison d'être' of the documentary is the making of a painting. At some point during his recreation of the painting, Tim gives an exhausted look towards the camera and sighs "it's like watching paint dry", much to the delight of the theater's crowd, which exploded in laughter.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible presentation April 29, 2014
Tim just joined the ranks of David Hockney and Philip Steadman in pi$$ing off the Old Master art snobs, as you might see in other reviews here. Incidentally, he consulted with both of those scholars and, while nothing is absolutely proven, he managed to convince each that his optical gadget is at least as believable as Hockney's camera lucida or Steadman's camera obscura.

It's quite amazing that Tim Jenison had not only the idea about Vermeer's possible optical aids, but the means and the time to create such a convincing demonstration. He started by knocking a wall out of his warehouse workspace, and painstakingly reconstructed the room of "Music lesson." Working at various times with live models, this complete tyro to painting created a remarkable replica of that great work, documented in detail in videos that eventually made up this presentation.

It wasn't just the demonstration, plus the demonstration that others could use his method equally well, that supported Tim's ideas. Given the endless time he spent staring at original Vermeers as well as at the scene in his own studio, he noted things like chromatic aberration, a common defect of lenses back then, captured in the original paintings. A true artist (if that phrase actually means much) might have "fixed" such things. A purely literal reproduction, like the one Jenison proposed, would simply record it along with everything else.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but not convincing July 1, 2014
By Compans
Format:Amazon Instant Video
Tim's device is incredibly ingenious and it is amazing that he could produce what he did using the device, given his lack of talent or training in the field. However, to suggest that the finished result comes anywhere close to a Vermeer is nonsense and this film avoids using the the opinions of 'experts' who may disagree with Jenison's theory. I would imagine this would appeal to anyone who knows little about art history or art making, as the premise that Vermeer is somehow a one off in art history, simply isn't true. And what of the realist artists who came after him and, not only documented their practices but taught others? Dozens of 19th century Salon artists, orientalists, later photo-realists etc. They were schooled in the 17th Century Dutch tradition and in many cases, their work was equally detailed. To suggest that Vermeer's technique is somehow inhuman (as the film did while talking of the 'camera-like' light in the original) is like suggesting that Einstien secretly used a pocket calculator. Vermeer WAS that talented and, more importantly, had an intellectual training that enabled him to realize what he was seeing. Years and years of drawing from the cast, from life, leaning how to realize form in pencil, charcoal and eventually in paint. A training, a journey. The people in Mr Jenison's painting have no form - a common trait to projected drawing. There is no paint quality whatsoever, nor use of brush stroke to describe form. The painting is also devoid of glazing - the layering of thin washes of paint that give many of Vermeer's paintings the glow described in the film. The way that Jenison applies paint is like a paint by numbers artist. Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Tim's patience and persistence were amazing, and the resulting...
This is a fascinating story. Tim's patience and persistence were amazing, and the resulting painting was impressive.
Published 4 hours ago by Warren D.
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Published 1 day ago by jerry
2.0 out of 5 stars Watching paint dry -- literally!
It started with an interesting premise, but quickly deteriorated. This film could have been quite fascinating if it had woven in more background about Vermeer and other artists of... Read more
Published 1 day ago by Magda S.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Tim is an actual Da Vinci.
Published 1 day ago by Benjamin Fernandez
4.0 out of 5 stars Tim has amazing vision, insight
Borderline inspiration and delusion. Tim has amazing vision, insight, and focus.
Published 2 days ago by Patrick A Werner
4.0 out of 5 stars Vermeer's Work Through the Lens
Fascinating exploration of Vermeer's work and how the artist created his images.
Published 2 days ago by JENNIFER G.SPENCER
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth seeing.
Very interesting.
Published 2 days ago by Gail R
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A must see for art lovers.... Astonishing
Published 3 days ago by Holly Haning
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful gem of a movie!
Great find. Wonderful little gem of a movie and very, very interesting topic.
Published 3 days ago by barry
5.0 out of 5 stars Emotional journey
Fascinating film. Everyone should see it - artist or not.
Published 3 days ago by uniball elite micro pens
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