Monday, May 15, 2006

"Impressionism has been neutered and lobotomized"

"The Impressionists" concluded its run last night on the BBC and it didn't get better. This time I was in the kitchen cooking dinner and listening rather than watching......

"He who must not be bored while I sketch" had found the AA Gill review in the Sunday Times for me since I wrote last about this 'mini-series'. Mr Gill, who trained as an artist at Central St Martins College of Art and the Slade School and who has been an art critic as well as reviewing TV, didn't leave us in any doubt what he thought starting out as he did with
".......nothing prepared me for the wraparound, jaw-dropping, pinch-yourself catastrophe it turned out to be"
However, he went on to point out how notoriously difficult it is to dramatise art - and what fun can be had compiling a list of the top ten worst art movies! (Guess which ones he named by using the comments function and I'll let you know if you're correct!)

Notwithstanding that, he then criticised the series for
  • being a safe option - in terms of how it told the story (flashbacks with voiceovers)
  • the scripts - which were so unlike the way real people talk
  • the way the artists appeared to have no real understanding of how art equipment is used and how paintings are made (this became increasingly irritating as they series proceeded - I found myself screeching at one of the 'artists' on TV at one point last night)
  • the failure to address why art is important
"What we got was 'The Famous Five Go Sketching'. It was almost a Monty Python skit and way funnier than a French and Saunders Christmas Special.........the screaming solipsisms and chronic mistakes came in droves. But all that was as nothing compared to the utter lack of understanding of what art is or does or why it's important, why people are moved to make it and moved by it."
  • missing a huge opportunity to rescue the impressionists from "being eternally embalmed in multicoloured candyfloss and thought of as airhead prototype hippies drawn thoughtlessly to the dappled light"
He concluded with the quote that is the title of this post.

So, overall, that'll be a thumbsdown then?

Related posts: "Taking the Monet"; "The Impressionists - a review"

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1 comment:

Jeanette Jobson said...

The critic's comments left me laughing.

Guess I won't wait with bated breath for this series to air in Canada, huh? :o)



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