Documentary short film about the work of Bertel Thorvaldsen (1770-1844), one of the most famous Danish sculptors, who spent a good part of his life in Italy. The camera goes through the ...
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Carl Theodor Dreyer
Documentary short film about the work of Bertel Thorvaldsen (1770-1844), one of the most famous Danish sculptors, who spent a good part of his life in Italy. The camera goes through the rooms of the museum that houses his work, strongly influenced by classical mythology.Written by
probably a treasure for art-history mavens, OK for Dreyer fans, probably dull for anyone else
I was glad I saw this little slice of a documentary from Carl Th Dreyer, as it reminds me that as a filmmaker (even to pay the bills which I'm sure this was apart of at the time) he could recognize another unique, genuine artist. Here he examines with a lens that's a little more 'controlled' this time- or to put it another way, he doesn't make this document on Thorvaldsen that much more than any other garden variety short doc on an old famous artist and his work. The camera-work is interesting nonetheless, as it does try to peer around into these sculptures, as the so-so adulatory narration goes on in the background. On the level of art-history, however, it is quite good, probably priceless in some small circles. It's obvious that this man and his very precise, curved figures of men and women in old-school Greek poses, should be revered at least once on film. That it is Dreyer doing the work there's maybe a moment or two where a stylistic flourish might pop up. But unlike the other short film included on the accompanying DVD, this one doesn't really delve style wise into the subject- for the director the detailing and the style of the sculptures says more than he can. Which is just as well, as the subject matter actually doesn't have a need for some kind of unique vision to it, just a steady eye over the (aesthetic) national treasures of Denmark. So for those interested on either side, if being a fan of the director's sporadic career or if wanting to show it as something of a 'teacher's tool' in an art-history class, it's more than adequate viewing. But it goes without saying that it's not the fastest 10 minutes either.
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