Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Francis Bacon |
Artists of the 20th Century
Genres: Educational, Documentary
The definitive biography of artist Francis Bacon accompanied by spectacular images of his greatest work.
Mixed presentation of a great artist!
John E. Maiscott | St. Louis, MO United States | 04/10/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I had really looked forward to Kultur's new "Artists of the 20th Century" series, and particularly the Francis Bacon DVD. Bacon has been my favorite artist for many years, and I have several books on his work.The good news is that this 52-minute DVD presents a rich panorama of Bacon's work from the beginning of his career to the end. I had never seen several of these paintings before. The commentary is quite good (though the commentator is oddly unidentified) and provides considerable insight into the work--reason enough to own this DVD. I liked that the commentary indicated the metaphysical aspect of Bacon's work, which is often overlooked. The nature of human reality, and of material reality itself, is really Bacon's subject: the ephemeral nature of things.Nonetheless, there are major disappointments in this disc: First, it strikes me as a serious omission that the nature of Bacon's relationship with George Dyer is neither discussed nor indicated. The commentary leads one to believe that Dyer was merely one of Bacon's friends. In fact, Bacon had an intense sadomasochistic, love/hate relationship with Dyer, who eventually committed suicide. While it is not necessary to dwell on biographical elements to appreciate Bacon's art, Dyer is the overt subject of much of the artwork; and certainly their relationship was an important contribution to the psychological aspects of Bacon's paintings generally.Second, the quality of the images in this DVD is quite disappointing, certainly unacceptable on a disc dealing with visual art! There is considerable loss of clarity on several of the paintings, and close-ups of details are generally quite fuzzy. In places, the image is clearly out-of-focus. (Were these photographs of slides projected on a screen?) Also, these photographic images invariably fail to capture Bacon's use of paint, his technical expertise. For instance, while the commentator notes Bacon's use of globs of white paint apparently thrown at the canvas, the effectiveness and precision of such apparently random or haphazard use of paint is lost. That said, the images of Bacon's paintings on-screen (depending on the size of your set) does enable a better feeling of the impact of the actual work than the small images in most books, esp. considering that Bacon's paintings are generally quite large. If only those images had been better presented..."
A boring disappointment
Crashy88 | Level 2 | 08/09/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"First of all, buyer beware! This is not a documentary about the great British painter Francis Bacon as you might think, but merely images of paintings with voiceover commentary, like a rather boring slide lecture. The image quality is not good (these were clearly made from photographs rather than from the original paintings themselves) and the paintings are sometimes rather oddly cropped; it's definitely not worth buying the DVD just for the images. The commentary I found dull, sometimes inaccurate and needlessly euphemistic about, e.g., Bacon's homosexuality and his relationship with George Dyer, which have significance in understanding some of the paintings. From the point at which the paintings seem to cut off and the quality and style of the video, I'm guessing this film was originally done in the late 1970s and not updated. Francis Bacon was one of the most important painters of the 20th century, but you'd never understand why from what you see on this DVD. If you're interested in a good documentary about Francis Bacon, skip this one and watch the wonderful 1985 documentary "Francis Bacon", done by David Hinton for the BBC's "South Bank Show," with its entertaining interviews with the artist."
Crashy88 | 07/09/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I'm a great admirer of Bacon's work. That being said, this DVD sucked! There is no actual video footage, rather they show a poorly produced slide show that was probably done using PowerPoint. The fact that there is no video is made even more unbearable by the poor quality of the images shown. The two redeeming qualities of this video are the detailed commentary and the sheer number of images. Don't waste your time or money...if you have to, rent it."