Saturday, January 3, 2015

Movies: Mr. Turner

(Drivebycuriosity) - The British painter J.M.W. Turner is considered one of the greatest l9th-century British artists. The movie "Mr. Turner", directed by Mike Leigh, condensed the last quarter century of Turner`s life into 150 cinema minutes (imdb).

Despite the length, not much happened. Turner, who had described himself as a gargoyle, was totally immersed into the visual worlds and transformed his visions onto canvas. He didn´t care much about speaking. Usually he restrained his communication to economical dispensed growls and  buzzig. Timothy Spall, who won as "Turner" the award for Best Actor at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, appeared to me as a kind of bear whom a friendly fairy had lend the gift of painting. Cinematographer Dick Pope (special jury prize in Cannes) recreated Turner´s epoch on the screen, introduced the audience into London`s 19th century society life and generated Turner-like pictures on the screen.

For illustration I used Turner`s  "Snow Storm-Steam Boat off a Harbour’s Mouth" which the master had donated to the British Nation and belongs now to Tate London. The paintings shows a steamboat just off a harbor mouth in shallow water had been battered by a snowstorm. To create this, the 64-year-old Turner had had himself lashed to the ship’s mast for four hours in the midst of the storm (artnews).

Mr. Turner is a cinematic speciality which might please Turner fans and connoisseurs of almost authentic 19th century art movies.

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