Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Bruegel on Film

The Mill and the Cross (2011) - Majewski

Jesus and the cross is right underneath the mill on top of the protruding rock in the middle, obscured by commotions among the crowd. Bruegel (Rutger Hauer) with his big black canvas and his patron in a top hat (Michael York) are in the foreground on lower right corner.

Polish director Lech Majewski's recreation of Bruegel's Procession to Calvary with the stories and characters surrounding it is first and foremost a visual feat & a technical marvel. Rutger Hauer gives us a grand tour of hidden meanings and messages in said painting, as the famed Flemish renaissance painter. Like many of the renaissance paintings, Procession is an update on the Passion Play and features ruthless Spanish mercenaries in red tunic in place of Roman soldiers. With every frame a work of art, you can't look away from its beauty.

I like Majewski's unobtrusive, less bombastic filmmaking when compared to Greenaway's Night Watching, in making a scholarly investigation in art. And I'm a sucker for tableaux in films (von Trier uses in his films quite a lot, I even like Tarsem's slick, cartoonish ones) and this one doesn't disappoint.

No comments:

Post a Comment