Tim's Vermeer ★★★½

While this documentary didn't convince me that Vermeer used any special optics to paint in a style different from his peers, it quickly becomes apparent that that's not the point of the film anyway. The reason to see this is for one man's obsession to re-create a Vermeer painting even though he is not an artist himself. It's not just about the painting, it's about building a room that correctly represents the one that Vermeer did the painting in - from windows, to furniture, to clothing, to rugs, to tiles, to metallurgy.

Don't get hung up over whether Vermeer used the technique Tim Jenison does to make his paintings. Frankly, this is mostly modern day arrogance - "how could a man with no special training have painted photo-realistically hundreds of years before the invention of photography?" It's called real life - go paint it in all the obsessive detail that other painters were leaving out.

It's a bit like the modern day people who say Shakespeare couldn't have written his own plays because he came from the middle class and wouldn't have had the education to be that good or that knowledgeable. Bullshit - Benjamin Franklin came from very humble beginnings (his schooling stopped at 10) and he became one of the most accomplished men in history. There is such a thing as educating yourself.