Nightwatching Film Details
Overview: An extravagant, exotic and moving look at Rembrandt’s romantic and professional life, and the controversy he created by the identification of a murderer in the painting ‘The Night Watch’.
Review: I love Rembrandt’s work and can spend hours at the museums or galleries watching his paintings, these myriads of color brown shades, the contrast of lights and shadow that makes the faces of his models mesmerizing even if they don’t have classical features, the perfect arrangement and settings of the frames that make his paintings (and drawings, and prints) cinematographic and him – a forerunner of movie making back in the 17th Century. There is warm healing energy that his paintings radiate. I admire Peter Greenaway, the true painter turned film director, the possessor of unique style, the master of exquisite frames, the creator of feasts for eyes, ears, and brains. Greenaway’s decision to make a film dedicated to the Europe most outstanding Artist, his life, loves, and his most mysterious and dramatic painting, Nightwatching, proved to be the best Greenaway’s film I’ve seen. Once I started watching the film last night, I could not take my eyes off the screen. I always look forward to seeing Peter Greenaway’s film but Nightwatching is his masterpiece. It is my favorite of his work, and it goes to my top favorite films ever. It is long, yes, 135 minutes but I did not want it to end. Besides being as beautiful as any Greenaway’s film, it covers so many subjects and does it so stunningly and brilliantly that it literally took my breath away. It includes a mystery behind the famous painting that the historians of Art have tried to solve for over 300 years, and it paints the canvas of life and times of the greatest Painter ever (yes, for me Rembrandt is IT), in the style that Rembrandt himself would’ve appreciated, and it succeeds in everything it was set to achieve, first and foremost being enormously entertaining. But the main reason why I LOVE the film, it did something I never thought a Greenaway’s film would do – it almost reduced me to tears. I did not know he had it in him – to make a film not only clever and intelligent, sharp and satirical, gorgeous and exquisite, no big surprise here, but also gentle, passionate, full of love and tenderness, divine and earthy, and to make me fell in love with the screen Rembrandt, the flawed, loud, lusty, earthy man (outstanding superlative performance by Martin Freeman, he even looks like Rembrandt van Rijn) as much as I have been already in love with Rembrandt the Artist. It is not just a feast for brain, eyes, and ears but the food for soul, for feelings. How dare some viewers and critics call it boring? There is love, beauty, the blackest darkness, the glowing light, intrigue, mystery, crimes, history, grandeur, compassion, sex, sins, depiction of all stages of creative process and relationship between the Artist and his work, and there is Art of the highest quality in the film. There is so much to talk about; the movie provides endless references to works of Art. I just have to mention how masterfully Greenaway refers to three major loves of Rembrandt, three women he was connected to, was inspired by, and immortalized in his paintings. There is Saskia van Uylenburgh, his wife, the love of his life, his soul mate, the woman whom Rembrandt described his feelings for as “close and dear relative that he’d known and needed all his life” as Minerva in the beginning of the film. Later on, after Saskia’s death, there was Geertje Dircx, with whom Rembrandt experienced the intense mostly physical affair, and to whom he had given some of Saskia’s jewelry. Geertje can be seen laying on the bed in the same exactly pose as Danae on one of the St. Petersburg Hermitage most celebrated paintings. And then there was Hendrickje Stoffels, Rembrandt’s last love whom he’d known since she started to work as a maid in his household in her early youth. Hendrickje sat for the paintings of Flora and Bathsheba among others. At one point, we see her striking the pose of A Woman bathing in a Stream from London National Gallery. I see these references to the Rembrandt art as just a few gifts for a grateful viewer from the hundreds the film has to offer. This is the best biography film I’ve seen. Nightwatching is the movie that makes me believe in cinema. Everything I ever wanted from a film, Nightwatching has and even much much more. One of a kind, it is a marvel, unsurpassable.
Country: United Kingdom, Poland, Canada, Netherlands
Duration: 134 min
Genre: Biography, Drama, History
Also known as: Rembrandtova nocní hlídka,La ronda Nocturna,Νυχτερινή Περίπολος,レンブラントの夜警,A Ronda da Noite,Тайны Ночного дозора,Nightwatching,Nocna straż,Nakties sargyba,Nyhterini peripolos,La ronde de nuit,La ronda de noche,夜巡林布蘭,Noćna straža,Ronda da Noite,Yövartio,Éjjeli őrjárat,Nattvakten,Ronda Noturna,Nightwatching – Das Rembrandt-Komplott,Remburanto no yakei