Movie I dig 029: The mill and the cross (2011)

The Mill and the cross is artful cinematic piece about a true masterpiece by Pieter Bruegel the Elder. ‘De Kruisdraging’ to be more specific (‘The procession to Calvary’ in English). If there ever was a way to bring a canvas to life than this is it. I don’t even want to begin to think about all the practical and creative difficulties they faced to get it to look and feel the way it does. They made the real footage blend with the painting-like CGI seamlessly, and yet it is very obvious which parts are painting-like. Also the coloring of both the CGI and the real footage, especially the clothes the characters are wearing, is worth to mention.

This movie teaches the audience a lot about life in 16th century Flanders as well. It shows that life goes on, even though major historical events are taking place. Not much has changed since then I guess.  We, the audience, also see many forgotten customs and practices. That brings me to one of the major things that I really liked a bout this film. There is so much detail. I probably have to see it again two or three times to be able to notice all those details. I don’t think it’s a coincidence they managed to slip in so many ‘hidden’ details in a film about a painting. Most Bruegel paintings are full of those details that make you observe and investigate a painting for a long time.

There aren’t many dialogues in this film. This ads to the power of the film as a whole. Just like a painting the piece of art let’s its audience observe and interpret – and sometimes even judge.

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