The story of a painting in The Mill and the Cross | Film Review | Indy Week
Pin It

The story of a painting in The Mill and the Cross 

Rutger Hauer as the great Flemish painter Pieter Bruegel in "The Mill and the Cross"

Rutger Hauer as the great Flemish painter Pieter Bruegel in "The Mill and the Cross"

Only several dozen works of the great Flemish painter Pieter Bruegel are known to have survived since his career in the mid-16th century. His depictions of low-country peasant life—scenes of feasting, harvesting, hunting and so on—are prized for their warm, vivid realism. His work is particularly valuable because in his age (as in many others), artists depended on the patronage of the wealthy for their livelihood, which usually meant flattering them with portraits.

In 1564, Bruegel painted a large canvas, more than 5 feet wide, which depicted a scene of crucifixion. Called "The Way to Calvary," it depicts an event common to Western art and central to Christianity, but otherwise, the narrative is completely his own. It's the equivalent of a crowd shot in movies, and the man collapsing under his cross is in the middle distance, surrounded by red-clad horsemen. All around this central episode of suffering is a field filled with hundreds of people, from the foreground to the far, far distance. But each figure seems to be composed with a particular action, motivation or backstory—and it's not clear that everyone is aware that a man is being crucified.

In the marvelous—perhaps even miraculous—new movie The Mill and the Cross, filmmaker Lech Majewski contemplates the making of this painting, and the stories of the people in it. Majewski's film, like his subject's paintings, revels in the earthy details of 16th-century Flemish life even as it employs up-to-the-minute CGI techniques to bring this wonderfully complex painting to life. Not to be missed.

Tags:

Film Details

The Mill and the Cross
Rated NR · 92 min.
Official Site: www.themillandthecross.com
Director: Lech Majewski
Writer: Lech Majewski and Michael Francis Gibson
Producer: Lech Majewski
Cast: Rutger Hauer, Charlotte Rampling and Michael York

Now Playing

Sorry there are no upcoming showtimes for The Mill and the Cross

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Film Review



Twitter Activity

Comments

Thanks for spoiling the movie. Just because you didn't like it doesn't mean you have to ruin it for everyone …

by Carly L. on The Book of Henry Is a Blatant Tearjerker Whose Elaborate Plot Serves a Useless Solution (Film Review)

I was an undergrad at Duke when The Handmaid's Tale was filmed. I remained on campus during spring break and …

by PeterH on A Forgotten The Handmaid’s Tale Movie Filmed in Durham Is the Missing Link Between Classic Novel and Hulu Hit (Film Review)

Most Read

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

Most Recent Comments

Thanks for spoiling the movie. Just because you didn't like it doesn't mean you have to ruin it for everyone …

by Carly L. on The Book of Henry Is a Blatant Tearjerker Whose Elaborate Plot Serves a Useless Solution (Film Review)

I was an undergrad at Duke when The Handmaid's Tale was filmed. I remained on campus during spring break and …

by PeterH on A Forgotten The Handmaid’s Tale Movie Filmed in Durham Is the Missing Link Between Classic Novel and Hulu Hit (Film Review)

I also loved this movie when it came out. Having just recently rewatched it, I'm surprised by how many details …

by Jase Wells on A Forgotten The Handmaid’s Tale Movie Filmed in Durham Is the Missing Link Between Classic Novel and Hulu Hit (Film Review)

What a great story, thanks Allison! I remember seeing this movie in high school and loving it. I never made …

by Glenn McDonald on A Forgotten The Handmaid’s Tale Movie Filmed in Durham Is the Missing Link Between Classic Novel and Hulu Hit (Film Review)

Just saw Pitch Perfect 3 trailer. Looks like its going to be another year of fun ride. Incredibly excited to …

by Andrew190 on Dueling college a cappella groups in Pitch Perfect (Film Review)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation