In 2016, the Noordbrabants Museum in the Dutch city of Den Bosch held a special exhibition devoted to the work of Hieronymus Bosch, who died 500 years ago. This late-medieval artist lived ... See full summary »
Pieter van Huystee
Working class couple Antoine and Antoinette dream of a better life. In the midst of constantly fending off the unwanted attention of men, especially the grocer Monsieur Roland, Antoinette ... See full summary »
Journeying through 1957, the year Bergman released two of his most acclaimed features (The Seventh Seal and Wild Strawberries), made a TV film and directed four plays for theatre, Magnusson... See full summary »
The life and work of Michelangelo, one of the most important artists of the Italian High Renaissance, are brought to life in this documentary through an exhibition in the National Gallery that also explore his relationship with da Vinci.
Captain Pierre Perdrix's life has been turned upside down since the enigmatic Juliette Webb burst into his life. Her presence alone will force his tight-knit family to redefine their boundaries and finally begin to fully live their lives.
A couple Esther and Juan lives in the Mexican countryside raising fighting bulls. She is in charge of running the ranch, while her husband, a world-renowned poet, raises and selects the ... See full summary »
A multidimensional and multisensory journey in the Florentine Renaissance through its most representative beauties, with the latest-generation 3D and 4K technology and the most advanced techniques of modelling and dimensionalisation.
a documentary about "The garden of earthly delights"
There are two things to be distinguished here : the painting by Hiëronymus Bosch on the one hand and the documentary about the painting on the other hand.
The painting is endlessly challenging and fascinating, not only from an aesthetic and cultural but also from a theological viewpoint. I remember discussing the painting in class, as an adolescent. One of the things that struck us pupils the most was the "Garden of Eden" segment in which God/Christ introduces Adam to Eve. With the panel, Bosch seems to suggest that violence was present even in the Garden of Eden, either in potentia or as a reality. Hence two questions : 1) if God could not predict the emergence of evil, does this make Him less than omniscient and 2) if God could predict the emergence of evil, why go ahead with Creation ? Does this mean that God does not care about humans, or about all humans ? Or does He want humans - again, all humans ? - to enjoy an even more satisfying paradise, to wit a paradise they earned through hard work and steadfast hope ? As any true mountaineer can tell you, the supreme joy comes not from reaching the top, the supreme joy comes from knowing that you reached the top on your own steam, after days of perilous and painful enterprise.
But then the images of animal violence on that panel could mean something else entirely : for instance, that God does not mind violence in animals but that He minds violence in humans, who were given reason and religion in order to control their instincts. The painting is not only superbly beautiful, it is so multi-layered and symbolically charged that it becomes a source of unending study and speculation.
Now on to the documentary. To begin with the good, "El jardin" offers the viewer fine images of the painting, complete with delicate details or underlying drafts. This provides one with an unusually intimate look at the thought process of the painter.
The documentary also assembles a whole army of writers, artists and experts, many of whom are pretty intelligent people who have something deep or original to say. This is a fine concept but unfortunately the documentary jumps from one angle to another, meaning that the topics can only be discussed in the most superficial of ways. A slower, more selective approach might have done wonders here.
Still, I was very intrigued by the comparisons to the hippie movement, in which young people tried to regain a sense of innocent enjoyment and guilt-free sensuality - or, in other words, in which young people tried to regain a paradise lost. (Whether Bosch would have considered such an attempt as feasible, healthy or permissible is quite an interesting question.) It is tempting, here, to picture a Charles Manson in the form of a grinning serpent slithering through the rose bushes...
But to return to "El jardin", it would have been better if all the speakers had simply spoken their own native language, with the various contributions then subtitled in a single language (for instance Spanish for a Spanish version). Now there was a lot getting lost in translation - or even double translation.
In conclusion : a well-intentioned documentary about a stunning painting, but not as good as it could or should have been.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this