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Tim's Vermeer (12A)
Directed by Teller
An inventor, two magicians and a Dutch master are at the heart of this fascinating documentary which pits art against science.
Obsessed with Johannes Vermeer's work ever since he read David Hockney's Secret Knowledge in 2002, computer graphics expert Jim Jenison wanted to see if he could paint a Vermeer and reproduce his signature.
So with the help of his friend Penn Jillette and Teller - of Penn and Teller fame - Jenison embarked on painstakingly recreating Vermeer's studio and the exact paints and tools that would have been at his disposal back in the 17th century, including the controversial camera obscura.
Jenison admits he isn't a painter - although it took him only half an hour to learn how to operate a paint brush -as he discusses his quest with a number of shocked art historians and painters, including David Hockney.
Directed by Teller and produced by Penn this is an absorbing documentary devoid of tricks and gimmickry in which you watch someone who has never painted before produce an impressive work in a clinical and scientific fashion. Granted it took him almost 2,000 days to complete but is it that easy - can anyone paint a Vermeer?
Any non-painter might find that very hard to believe. But the film does throw a whole new light on the Dutch master's ability and output.
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