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Tim's Vermeer (2013)

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Inventor Tim Jenison seeks to understand the painting techniques used by Dutch Master Johannes Vermeer.

Director:

Teller

Writers:

Penn Jillette, Teller
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tim Jenison ... Himself
Penn Jillette ... Himself
Martin Mull ... Himself
Philip Steadman Philip Steadman ... Himself (as Prof. Philip Steadman)
David Hockney ... Himself
Colin Blakemore Colin Blakemore ... Himself
Leslie Jenison Leslie Jenison ... Herself
Eric Armitage Eric Armitage ... Himself
Daniëlle Lokin Daniëlle Lokin ... Herself (as Daniélle Lokin)
Bob Groothuis Bob Groothuis ... Himself
Ankie Bonnet Ankie Bonnet ... Herself
Ruth Steadman Ruth Steadman ... Herself
Mike Hayes Mike Hayes ... Himself
Nicola Vigini Nicola Vigini ... Herself
Graham Toms Graham Toms ... Himself
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Storyline

Inventor Tim Jenison seeks to understand the painting techniques used by Dutch Master Johannes Vermeer.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some strong language | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Dutch

Release Date:

3 October 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Vermeer's Edge See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$49,777, 2 February 2014, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,662,566, 16 May 2014
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

High Delft Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

About 2400 hours of footage was collected. Director Teller had trouble editing the footage down to feature film length and consider stopping the editing process all together. He consulted his friend Penn on where to go next, and Penn gave him a one sentence plot summary: "A man discovers how to create art without knowing how." This was all Teller needed to get the film down to feature film length. See more »

Quotes

Tim Jenison: 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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Soundtracks

When I Paint My Masterpiece
(uncredited)
Written and performed by Bob Dylan
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User Reviews

"It's like watching paint dry": visually stunning documentary
23 February 2014 | by Paul AllaerSee all my reviews

"Tim's Vermeer" (2-13 release; 80 min.) brings the story of Tim Jenison, an inventor who has amassed a small fortune over his life time and now has become fascinated (obsessed may be the better word) with the 17th century Dutch master painter Johannes Vermeer. Tim examines in particular Vermeer's painting "The Music Lesson", which has an astonishing amount of details in it. Tim eventually comes to the conclusion that Vermeer used a variety of optical devices (mirrors, camera obscura, lenses), and to test his theory, he decides to recreate "The Music Lesson" from scratch, even though he is not a skilled painter by any means. To tell you more would ruin your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: first, this documentary is made (and narrated) by Penn, he of Penn & Teller. Turns out that Penn and Tim have known each other for many years, and it's easy to see why this particular topic would have peaked Penn's interest enough to make it into a documentary. Second, the feeling of the documentary is pretty much one of a crime caper, in that we get to find out in detail how Tim goes about testing his various theories and his recreation of "The Music Lesson". Third, if you don't care for art, in particular painting, save yourself the trouble and catch another movie, as obviously the entire 'raison d'être' of the documentary is the making of a painting. At some point during his recreation of the painting, Tim gives an exhausted look towards the camera and sighs "it's like watching paint dry", much to the delight of the theater's crowd, which exploded in laughter. Last but not least, there is a nice soundtrack to this movie, composed by Conrad Pope and I've made a mental note to myself to check that out as well. (Bob Dylan's "When I Paint My Masterpiece" plays over the documentary's closing credits, an obvious but nice choice.)

I saw this documentary this past weekend at the Landmark E Street Cinema and the early evening screening I saw this at was absolutely PACKED, which I think is great news. Facts always trump fiction, reason why I love a good documentary more than anything. If you are interested in art and you marvel at how Vermeer might've created some of his best work, you will absolutely love this. "Tim's Vermeer" is absolutely worth checking out, be it in the theater or on DVD. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


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