Monday, September 12, 2011

The Mill and The Cross

The word "film" seems inadequate to describe Lech Majewski's “The Mill and The Cross,” a mesmerizingly layered rendering of the creation of Pieter Bruegel's iconic “The Way to Calvary.” The painting itself is imposingly dizzying—a depiction of the crucifixion containing over 500 figures and, like the film, set during the painter's lifetime, when Spain ruled Flanders with an iron fist. From its arresting opening image of Bruegel (played by another legend, Rutger Hauer) wandering inside his masterpiece-in-progress, to Majewski's ingenious use of subtle movement in both foreground and background planes and absolute stillness in the middle one, “The Mill and The Cross” is less costume drama and more time capsule come to life. It's an art installation captured by painstaking cinematography.

To read the rest of my review visit Slant Magazine.

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