R | | Biography, Drama, History
An extravagant, exotic and moving look at Rembrandt's romantic and professional life, and the controversy he created by the identification of a murderer in the painting 'The Night Watch'.
Director Peter Greenaway has said of this film: "The 'painter film' is a small genre of its own: Michelangelo, Rembrandt himself (at least twice), Modigliani, Caravaggio, etc, and none more so than just lately. Picasso, Van Gogh (repeatedly), Bacon, Vermeer, and now Goya have received the treatment. I suppose our major aim in the film Nightwatching, apart from trying to match the Master's mastery of light, is to demonstrate Rembrandt as social moralist: it contains a murder mystery - the unraveling of which is the heart of the film. And also to regard Rembrandt as an inventor of cinema before the Lumière brothers...We tried to rise to the challenge in the film, remaking, with high definition digital tape, that upper right-hand corner space of Velázquez's Las Meninas - the area between the walls and ceiling has been described as the greatest bit of painting ever - a painting which is just and only and magnificently a painting of a block of darkly contrasting air. We, too, attempting a grand response Rembrandt image of light, tried to film a block of air that insubstantially floats, irrespective of walls and ceiling. Godard said that the cinema was the truth 24 frames a second. Can painting go better and say that paintings are the truth for all time? What's a second in cinema time if you can have an eternity in painting time? Cinema has come and gone in 112 years. What, then, is the age of painting?".
Women in the 17th century are allowed to smoke, write, correspond with Descartes, wear spectacles, insult the Pope, and breast-feed babies.
At 1:06:37 Rembrandt says Marita threw herself of the roof of the Westerkerk. Earlier in the movie Marieke said that it was Marieke's mother who jumped of the Westerkerk.