This candid New York love story explores the chaotic 40-year marriage of famed boxing painter Ushio Shinohara and his wife, Noriko. Anxious to shed her role as her overbearing husband's assistant, Noriko finds an identity of her own.
There's also this modern idea that art and technology must never meet - you know, you go to school for technology or you go to school for art, but never for both... And in the Golden Age, they were one and the same person.
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As a lifelong draw-er, painter and former professional visual artist, I have absolutely no problem with the idea that Vermeer used optical tools to create his masterpieces. Invention is creation every bit as much as art (maybe more). It does not diminish Vemeer's "genius" to think of him as more 'tinkerer' than virtuoso, it just redirects it a bit. I have to admit that before watching this film I had not given much thought to the tools that Vemeer may have used, other than assuming that camera obscura was employed at some point. After considering the level of detail involved, and the lighting intricacies that he so aptly caught, it seems entirely reasonable (but not proved) to believe that other assists were involved as well.
The one thing the film overlooks, and the reason I didn't give it 10 stars, was that Vemeer no doubt possessed tremendous drawing ability and training in other traditional skills which Tim did not. Such skills would have enabled him to bridge the gap between human camera and inexplicable genius. For example, he would have inherently caught things like broken perspective early on, and he would have wielded his tools with emotion and insight which Tim did not possess. He was, at heart, a true artist, and much more than just an eccentric millionaire with an odd hobby. So the answer to which tools he used, as interesting as it is to think about, is really little more than a bit of trivia. Because it doesn't matter if it's optics or inspiration, mechanics or expression, in the end if it's interesting to look at if it moves people, then it's great art.
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