Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Mr. Turner

If you haven't already seen it, I highly recommend checking out Mike Leigh's 2014 film Mr. Turner, about the British landscape master J.M. W. Turner  - the original "Painter of light" - (so suck it Kincaid you dead hack! I know, but it needed to be said, again.)
Not only is Timothy Spall's performance as Turner (I reeelly want to say "unvarnished", but I shall refrain. Or not.) riveting in its intensity, sensitivity and coarseness, but the film itself is a breathtakingly gorgeous demonstration of incredible lighting palette control and shot composition. Not content to mimic Turner's palettes or recreate vistas that show up in his paintings, as many biopics of artists tend to do, Mike Leigh creates a convincing and cohesive vision of how the early Victorian world might have looked. Beautifully manipulated natural lighting galore, yes, but also the underlying notion that the entire world around us is masterpiece worthy, from the lowliest butcher shop or street scene to the incredible, heroic vistas of the British coastline. I found it a wonderfully compelling, screen grab-worthy feast for the eyes.
 Here are some shots to whet your appetite:

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