Film Capsule: Tim’s Vermeer

Consider for a moment the sticktoitiveness required to complete a documentary upon the order of Tim’s Vermeer. First off, Tim’s Vermeer required an artisan. And not just any artisan, mind you. Tim’s Vermeer required an absolutely exceptional artisan … a savant, by all appearances, who was equal parts innovative and intuitive. Next, the film required said artisan to possess an exhausting combination of both malleability and focus. Beyond that, the film required eight full years worth of time … time and enough money to finance international travel, production and architectural costs. Lastly, Tim’s Vermeer required an inconceivable shitload of good fortune … good fortune and good faith that every wrinkle could be ironed.

And so what does it mean, exactly, the fact that Tim’s Vermeer ultimately succeeded on an Oscar-worthy scale? Well, assuming you’re of the belief that revelation and change are the highest virtues any film can aspire to, Tim’s Vermeer represents one of the most effective documentaries of the past 15 years. It also represents a seismic shift in both the historical perspective and artistic application of oil painting. It’s Bob Ross for the intellectual set, and it’s highly recommended.

(Tim’s Vermeer opens in limited release this Friday.)