The Mill & the Cross

The Mill & the Cross

DVD - 2010 ;
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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. -- container
Publisher: [Katowice, Poland] : Angelus Silesius, c2010 ; New York, NY : distributed by Kino Lorber, Inc., c2011
Branch Call Number: DVD Mill
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (97 min.) : sd., col.; 4 3/4 in


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Oct 13, 2018

this was a surprisingly inventive way to get inside a Bruegel painting.
although I love the overall look of his paintings I have found it a visual overload to look too closely. this was a wonderful lesson on how he painted in sections and the significance of the parts making up the whole.
wonderful cinematography - I especially enjoyed the inner workings of 'God's own mill'
the 'making-of' feature and interview with the director enhance the entire experience - revealing the secret of the sky and the clouds

May 11, 2017

This is a 2011 Polish-Swedish fantasy-drama directed by Lech Majewski, inspired by Pieter Bruegel the Elder's 1564 painting "The Procession to Calvary" and based on Michael Francis Gibson's book "The Mill and the Cross."
With a series of vignettes depicting everyday peasant life, the film focuses on a dozen of the 500 characters depicted in Bruegel's painting.
The theme of Christ's suffering is set against religious persecution in Flanders in 1564.
It is an interesting cinematic iterpretation of the painting with fantastic visual effects.

Nov 12, 2016

A very interesting film. I love Bruegel's paintings so this was a different way to experience the social and political context of his art work. Makes me glad I did not live during the middle ages in Europe. It was a brutal time.

May 29, 2015

Beautiful photography, great cast, a trivial, adolescent theme. Could have been a contender but it's too slow moving for the pea-brains who might otherwise appreciate the ravens picking the eyes out of corpses and other graphic gratuitous gore.

Dec 31, 2014

Destined to be one of my top 10 films for 2011, this visually stunning meditation on Christ’s passion, complete with political and historical overtones, takes Pieter Bruegel’s richly detailed 16th century painting The Way to Calvary and, quite literally, brings it to life using magnificent hand-painted backdrops, some 21st century technical wizardry and a huge ensemble cast anchored by Rutger Hauer as the artist himself, Charlotte Rampling as the grieving Virgin Mary, and Michael York as Breugel’s wealthy benefactor, a beneficent nobleman disgusted with the corruption he sees around him. Presented with very little dialogue the film relies instead on its powerful imagery to create a feeling of time and place. This is a surreal Flemish countryside of rocky cliffs, solemn windmills and pastel clouds all bathed in the rich buttery light favoured by the Dutch Masters. While the camera moves from one pastoral scene to another over the course of a single day we begin to sense the quotidian rhythm of these rural peasants as they go about the business of living and dying, often stopping in a frozen tableau while Breugel walks among them sketching and explaining the many metaphors to be found in his artwork. As in the original painting Christ’s crucifixion seems lost amongst all the hubbub surrounding him, yet it is this sacrifice which anchors both canvas and film providing the former with a sly social critique and the latter with a grand climax filled with tempests and heavenly wrath (though ending, ironically, with a return to the bucolic splendour of its opening scenes). With The Mill and the Cross Lech Majewski has fashioned a small cinematic masterpiece which deserves to be seen on the big screen.

kevfarley Mar 14, 2014

The 'painterly' lighting is lovely,.. but this exploration of a masterpiece is not interesting enough to sit through for an entire movie ! And there is little explanation about the historical or social context of the original.

Jan 29, 2013

Gorgeous movie directed by Lech Majewski based on a Pieter Bruegel masterpiece, "The Way to the Calvery". Recommend this one!

Aug 24, 2012

A beautiful, and in places disturbing, film. Very artistic, and about artistry. Talks about symbolism in the painting, and uses symbolism to do a version of the passion. Very little dialogue, and a slow and languid pace, which is necessary to follow everything that goes on. Sometimes there is a plot, and sometimes there isn't, and sometimes plots almost collide. Making a film of a book of art history is an ambitious undertaking, but the result is worthwhile.

Apr 10, 2012

This is an unusual documentary. No talking heads, just little narratives about the personalities and objects in this crowded peasant scene by Pieter Breugel the Elder, a Flemish painter from the 16th century. The narratives are not connected. Most of them have no dialogue except for the painter who walks into the painting, the art connaisseur, and a couple of women.

Glencoe_Mike Apr 10, 2012

Gorgeous and meditative, supreme filmmaking.

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