Search - Michelangelo - Self-Portrait on DVD

Michelangelo - Self-Portrait
Michelangelo - Self-Portrait
Director: Robert Snyder
Genres: Documentary
NR     2003     1hr 25min


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Movie Details

Director: Robert Snyder
Creators: Umberto Galeassi, Robert Fitzgerald, Gene Rosenfeld, John Ferry, Nancy Thomas, Michael Sonnabend
Genres: Documentary
Sub-Genres: Documentary
Studio: Homevision
Format: DVD - Black and White,Color
DVD Release Date: 11/18/2003
Original Release Date: 02/26/1989
Theatrical Release Date: 02/26/1989
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 25min
Screens: Black and White,Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Thank you PBS for introducing me to this marvelous video.
Jackie M. Sthilaire | Manchester, NH United States | 10/22/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Having just returned from Italy, I was very interested in seeing this program. I wish I had been exposed to it before my trip, I would have better appreciated Michelangelo, the person. When I visited the Sistine Chapel, it was a hot day in August and the first thing I remember was that it was air-conditioned, what a blessing. There were hundreds of people standing but I managed to get a seat in the middle and meditated for 1/2 hour on the beautiful ceiling and in particular Michelangelo's " Last Judgment". It was quite noisy and the loud speakers in various languages continued to tell us not to speak, take pictures etc. These announcements were worst than the people around us. In viewing this marvelous video, I realized that Michelangelo was about 32 when he was commissioned by the Pope to paint the Sistine Chapel . It took 7 years and afterwards, Michelangelo writes in his letters that he felt and looked like an old man. He was 21 when he sculptured "The Pieta". At the age of 60 he thought he had lived a long hard life. He lived until the age of 87.This program took 10 years to complete and you realize that this effort will be received with tremendous gratitude. You not only get a wonderful avenue for his paintings and most importantly, Michelangelo's sculptures but the letters that he wrote have been preserved and are delivered orally to us in a very believable manner. Having experienced this wonderful program, I am so much more appreciative of this man, Michelangelo."
The Artist Speaks for Himself
Jenifer L. Woods | Las Cruces, NM | 03/04/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This wonderful DVD offers two complete Robert Snyder documentaries on the life and work of Michelangelo.

I opted to watch the black & white, 1950 Oscar-winning "The Titan: Story of Michelangelo" first, and am very happy I did so. It runs about an hour, and provides a fairly straightforward account of the artist's life and work, while also exploring some of the regional artistic influences on young Michelangelo, and the political and religious discord that existed during the Renaissance. Narrated by Frederic March, it is highly melodramatic in places and features a dated, tinny soundtrack. The most striking and memorable footage is a recreation of David being moved through the streets of Florence (which plays very like a Spaghetti Western showdown). This original documentary is a terrific set-up for the main feature to follow...

Michelangelo's work almost-literally comes to life as you see it all again (and more) in living color in the 1989 film. Obviously, there is a lot of overlap with "Titan," but this film, "Self Portrait," is narrated in first-person, using Michelangelo's letters, diaries and poetry to tell his story in a more intimate and insightful way than its 1950 predecessor. What a treat to hear Michelangelo's own descriptions of his work! It changed the whole experience for me. His personal struggle to balance Christianity and Classicism mirrored the turbulence of the Renaissance and fueled his creativity; it may also strike a familiar note in modern times...

This film is much more complete than the first, both in the number of works shown and the exploration of the artist's life. It is beautifully photographed and scored, and it offers closer-than-you-can-get-in-person views of Michelangelo's sculptures and the pre-renovation Sistine ceiling and Last Judgement. No real people appear in either documentary--no narrators, curators, actors, townspeople or tourists are present to distract from the artwork or the environs. My one complaint about this is that we never get a good sense of scale as a result. Many of Michelangelo's creations are monumental, and I'm not sure that truly comes across--especially on a TV screen.

Most fine art DVDs seem not to have any extra features, so the fact that this one does is a real bonus. The original 1950 documentary, "The Titan," is actually found under the Extras Menu and, as mentioned above, should be watched even before the main feature. In addition, there is a short but worthwhile interview with Robert Snyder in which he reveals where he found some of the original footage used in both films (I won't spoil it for you). Finally, there are short excerpts from a series of other Snyder documentaries featuring creative icons of the mid-20th Century: Buckminster Fuller, Pablo Casals, Anais Nin, Claudio Arrau, Henry Miller and Willem de Kooning.

This is one of the most engaging and worthwhile art DVDs I've seen so far. Anyone interested in Michelangelo, Rome, Florence, Renaissance history or the Vatican should enjoy this over and over again.
Diego Banducci | San Francisco, CA United States | 12/12/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Based to a large extent upon the 1950 Academy Award winning documentary "The Titan: Story of Michelangelo" which is included on the DVD, this wonderful film takes that work to a higher level and is a work of art in itself. The photography is stunning, the commentary intelligent.

If you're planning a trip to Italy, be sure to view this before you go.