Previously at the ICA - Films

Teller, Tim's Vemeer, 2013

DocHouse: Tim's Vermeer

30 Apr 2014

★★★★ 'a mesmerising film that offers both an intriguing insight into genius and a convincing analysis of the unity of art and science'
- Mark Kermode, Guardian
'An exquisitely fun documentary'
- Entertainment Weekly
'So entertaining to watch, audiences hardly even realize how incendiary it is'

Can a computer inventor with no formal art training re-create the work of 17th Century Dutch Master Johannes Vermeer? For eight years, millionaire inventor Tim Jenison attempted to do just that, and to solve one of the art world’s biggest mysteries along the way.

With extraordinary wit and charm Tim’s Vermeer follows Jenison’s quest to paint a replica of Vermeer's ‘The Music Lesson’ with his own hands. Experimenting with mirrors and optics, Jenison obsessively pursues the question of how the Dutch Master was able to create such startlingly photo-realistic paintings, long before the invention of the camera.

'Tim's Vermeer' Trailer (2014): Tim Jenison, Penn Jillette

Directed by Teller of magic duo Penn and Teller, and with Penn Jillette in front of the camera, this brilliant doc is a personal odyssey through art history, technology, painting technique and beauty - but ultimately it’s a beguiling study of fascination.

Before the film there will be a special introduction by Philip Steadman, the author of Vermeer’s Camera – the book that inspired Tim Jenison’s pursuit to paint a Vermeer!

Philip Steadman is Emeritus Professor of Urban and Built Form Studies at University College London. He trained as an architect and has contributed to many exhibitions, films, and books on perspective geometry and the history of art, including helping to produce four computer-animated films on the work of Leonardo da Vinci for an exhibition in London in 1989. In 2001 he published Vermeer's Camera (Oxford University Press), on the Dutch painter’s use of the camera obscura. This book set the American engineer and computer graphics expert Tim Jenison off on a quest to ‘paint a Vermeer’ using a modified version of the camera obscura, providing the subject for Tim’s Vermeer. Steadman appears in the film.

Tim's Vemeer, dir Teller, USA 2013, 80 mins, cert 12A


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