“National Gallery”-Frederick Wiseman

October 24, 2014 § Leave a comment


“The National Gallery,” London’s esteemed art museum in Trafalgar Square, was founded in 1824, and houses a collection of over 2,300 paintings dating from the mid-13th century to 1900. Open everyday from 10am to 6pm, it is located where all roads in London lead, Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN, United Kingdom.


This 180 minute Wiseman documentary demonstrates a taste of what it is like to work behind the scenes at the world famous museum observing Dr. Nicolas Penny, the Gallery’s Director since 2008, hard at work in staff meetings regarding the day to day operations, budget costs, and the future of the museum, curators dissecting Old Testament Biblical scenes within the paintings to visitors, restorers, and the in-depth restoration process, art students sketching nude models, light meters, how they change the exhibition halls, activists stringing ‘Save the Arctic’ banners from the roof high above Trafalgar Square, and ballet dancers dancing with two paintings as their backdrop. Strangely enough, you don’t actually see portraits until the end, when they are displayed for approximately four seconds each.

“The length of time that a painting has to tell a story is very short. It is as long as the light strikes the painting keeping the viewer intrigued, while a movie has time to set up a plot, and one may be immersed in a book for 6 months or more of their life.”

Artists displayed in the film: German painter, Hans Holbein, when the National Gallery hosted Leonardo Da Vinci’s, “La Dama con l’Ermellino,” J.M.W. Turner, Rembrandt, Titian’s “Metamorphosis,” Caravaggio, Vermeer, Velazquez, Pissarro, and Rubens.

Don’t let the film’s length scare you away. Allot time, eat first, and go!

“National Gallery” will have a two-week engagement, November 5 – 18, at Film Forum, 209 West Houston Street (W. of 6th Avenue), with screenings daily at 12:30, 4:15, and 7:50.

One World Cinema

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