Thursday, December 25, 2014

Mr. Turner-Spall --- Day 3/340

Walk: Embarcadero Cinema (Mr. Turner)
Distance:  3.5 miles

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Ciwt is feeling a bit Humpty-Dumptyish after seeing the movie biography of the great British artist JMW Turner.  She wonders if she can ever put her joyous visceral response to Turner's ethereal art back together again with her new visceral response to Turner's personal gross, grunting, abusive instinctiveness.

Her new sense of Turner is made indelible by the superb acting of Timothy Spall, a great thespian who devoted two years to donning his Turner role - including learning to paint in the manner of Turner. Spall won the Palme d'Or at Cannes and is sure to be nominated, perhaps win, for Best Actor in all the important awards.

So, go for the acting.  Definitely.  And for the uncanny, brilliant cinematography.  Such is its technical inventiveness and magic that there are many moments when we feel we are actually in one of Tuner's masterpieces.  And throughout the movie we are quite sure we are living in 18th Century England.  Not an easy feat to believably reconstruct a by-gone era; usually there are inadvertent tip offs: hair and make up style, lighting, modern dentistry, fake sideburns, personal fitness and carriage.

Of course she will put Mr. Turner back together with his art.  Just like she responds to Mozart's music even after encountering his immature, infantile character in Amadeus.  Without realizing it Ciwt must have imagined Turner as some sort of magician who, in one grand swipe, captured all that is ethereal in the heavens and waters.  So, there is the disillusionment and then the deeper work of reconciling artistic genius and output with the human artist.  Ultimately, Humpty-Dumpty looks richer, more compelling and authentic with his cracks.

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