The documentary "Tim’s Vermeer" tackles an intriguing subject — one man’s obsession with another man’s art — but could use a little more of the Vegas splash that the filmmakers, the magic team of Penn & Teller, usually employ.
Teller directs this look at one of his partner Penn Jillette’s friends, inventor and engineer Tim Jenison, who became fascinated with the paintings of 17th-century Dutch master Johannes Vermeer. Specifically, Jenison read into a theory, advanced by artist David Hockney, that Vermeer used optics and an early version of a camera obscura to create super-accurate images. So Jenison, in a slightly crazy and painstaking effort, sets out to paint a Vermeer in a San Antonio warehouse.
Opens Friday, March 14, at the Broadway Centre Cinemas; rated PG-13 for some strong language; 80 minutes.
His efforts are interesting, though he misses the forest for the trees (or, rather, plants one tree at a time without seeing the forest). Teller’s straightforward retelling, shot in glaring video, dutifully shows Jenison’s process without exploring the wondrous "why" behind it.
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