The Mill and the Cross (2011)
Average Rating: 7.4/10
Reviews Counted: 41
Fresh: 32 | Rotten: 9
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 7.6/10
Critic Reviews: 17
Fresh: 14 | Rotten: 3
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 712
What would it be like to step inside a great work of art, have it come alive around you, and even observe the artist as he sketches the very reality you are experiencing? Lech Majewski brings to life Pieter Bruegel's masterpiece The Way to Calvary, the story of the crucifixion, setting it in 16th century Flanders under brutal Spanish occupation. Rutger Hauer plays the artist, Michael York his patron, and Charlotte Rampling the Virgin Mary. As epic events unfold, bawdy country living continues
Sep 16, 2011 Limited
Jan 31, 2012
Kino Lorber - Official Site
Pedro de Erazu
Rogier de Marke
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We almost feel that we ourselves have accomplished something just by being around while Bruegel doodled.
"The Mill and the Cross" might not be perfect, but it's stimulating, hypnotic and, in its unique way, exciting.
The Mill and the Cross may thrill you. But be prepared for a fight. Twenty minutes in, your companion may throw up his or her arms and complain, "This is like watching a painting dry."
The Mill & the Cross invites us to inhabit a work of art along with the mind of the man who made it and to be enthralled by the images shared in vivid tableaux by visionary Polish director Lech Majewski.
What hangs before us is so striking, beautiful, strange, vast, horrifying, ethereal, lifelike - so alive - that we're desperate to enter the other side of the canvas, to be inside the painting.
The Mill and the Cross provides a sort of stoner's take on Bruegel's masterpiece, if the stoner happens to be a scholar with expertise in the work of the genius painter.
Both painting and film are brought to vivid, extraordinary life by the power of the artist's will: This is Intelligent Design we can believe in.
Visually, it's a lavish dreamscape. But come prepared. This immersive and mostly nonverbal art tour of history could lead to an evening of regret.
While there are some interesting visuals, the lack of story and emotion doom this film.
The Mill and the Cross is visually transporting, a painterly undertaking in every sense of the word. It's a neat case of a contemporary art form conveying to an audience what the painting itself might have conveyed to its viewers hundreds of years ago.
It's easy to imagine that some folks will find the film rapturous, but it's equally clear that there are others whom it will drive crazy.
André Bazin wrote about the mission of art to rescue the world from transience and corruption … I don't know if I've ever seen this idea more resoundingly affirmed.
Hauer is OK as Bruegel, but Charlotte Rampling is weird as the painting's Virgin Mary and, in a mostly non-verbal story, she's burdened by some excruciatingly gushy voiceovers .
The experience of this film is primarily visual-dialogue is sparse and most of the sound is diegetic-which intensifies the impact of Majewski's bold conceit.
.. the filmmaker follows twelve of the painting's hundreds of people to impart a historical understanding of how Bruegel condemned Spain's religious persecution in his native Holland by making his Christ contemporary.
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