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Henri Matisse (Artists of the 20th Century)

3.3 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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(Apr 13, 2004)
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Editorial Reviews

Born in 1869 in France, Henri Matisse is regarded as one of the most influential figures in 20th century art. He studied law and was working as a clerk when he became seriously ill and was confined to bed for nearly a year.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Directors: DPM
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Kultur International Films
  • DVD Release Date: April 13, 2004
  • Run Time: 56 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001L3LR2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #152,348 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Patricia Tryon on December 31, 2004
Verified Purchase
I love Matisse and have spent many happy hours gazing at a single painting, drawing, collage, sculpture -- even at a photograph of the artist, himself. This DVD is something I enjoy because of its chronological presentation of many important paintings. I enjoy it when I remember, from the beginning, to TURN THE SOUND OFF.

The narrator's monotone and the stultifying script put me to sleep every single time. What a pity! Here are some of the most exciting works of recent centuries, works that have provoked controversy and opened frontiers, and the soundtrack makes me, a would-be Matisse groupie, cry with the boredom of it all. There is one humorous moment when the narrator reads what should probably be the word "congenial" as "congenital" instead, and one can admire the narrator's pronunciation of French, to the extent that French titles are used (and they should be used more, I think, in this).

For a DVD to be watched with sound off and remote close at hand so that one may linger over what appeals on a given day and race past some of the oddly chosen close-ups, two stars is a generous rating. But any visual presentation of Matisse's work is always worth a look. Let's just hope for a better DVD on the magnificent Matisse.
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This is just an art appreciation lecture on disc. I guess art lovers without access to museums or art historians' work would need something like this. However, live art lectures have a question-and-answer format that makes them interactive and fun. This work was just dull. The disc does a good job in mentioning that Matisse worked in several styles. Still, it's just one piece after another. Nothing moves on the entire disc, making everything feel so static and overly two-dimensional. This disc leaves many questions to be answered. For example, they show a painting of Madame Matisse and never once mentioned when the Matisses got married. They mention a series of dancing female nudes and then a picture of male musicians. They never say anything about the men being airbrushed or the obvious Japonisme influence on the piece. Though an average-length documentary, it feels like an eternity due to the dullness of the work. Blah! and yawn!
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The reproductions of his paintings were wonderful but the audio could have been more interesting particularly if it had been more sequential.
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That's what this DVD comes down to, 56 minutes of watching Matisse's paintings click by in chronological order. If you are a fan of Matisse, buy it. If you aren't, netflix it. This DVD is simply a slide show with narration. The narration leaves much to be desired, as it is very monotone. The biggest drawback is that you don't know which of the paintings are going to be talked about in detail or just have their titles given. If you are looking for a deep study or understanding of Matisse's oeuvre, you should keep looking. This DVD is more along the lines of an undergrad paper.
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