31 January 2011 | JvH48
Must-see guided tour through Bruegel's picture
Many thanks to the Rotterdam filmfestival 2011 for screening this guided tour through Christ Carrying the Cross, the painting by Pieter Bruegel the Elder. I learned a lot about the ideas behind it and the way it was set up. Seeing it explained gradually throughout the story, will let me remember it better than reading about it in a book.
We also learned a lot about how people lived those days. A special mention should be devoted to the parts where this film demonstrates that life goes on, regardless of politics, war, and religions. We also saw many forgotten customs about bread, threshold cleaning, and much more that I want to leave as an exercise to the close observer.
A dramatic moment at ¾ of the film is where the painter raises his hand, and life comes to a stand still, including the mill on the hill that stops by a hand signal of the miller. It seems no coincidence that the miller very much resembles how our Lord is pictured usually, and also that he oversees the whole panorama from his high position. As soon as he signals the mill to resume working, the whole picture relives from its frozen state.
A large part of the audience stayed for the final Q&A. We got much information about the post production effort required to get the colors right, and creating the different layers to get everything in focus. Further, the film maker told he wanted to make a feature film from the start. It was considered a Mission Impossible by the people around him. How wrong they were!
All in all, a lot goes on in the film, much more than I could oversee during the screening. Maybe I should try to grasp more of the fine details during a second viewing. I don't think I saw everything that the film makers did put into this production.