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Audience Award Competition 2020
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The Painting Andrés Sanz Vicente
Are we looking at a painting or is it looking back at us? Velázquez’s larger-than-life painting “Las Meninas” sparks captivating digressions about curiosity and penetrating gazes.
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The Painting

El cuadro
Andrés Sanz Vicente
Competition for the Audience Award 2020
Documentary Film
107 minutes

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Andrés Sanz Vicente
Antonio Gómez-Olea
Javier Ruiz Gómez
Andrés Sanz Vicente
Andrés Sanz Vicente
Andrés Sanz Vicente
Micky López
Santiago Rapallo

It has been said that the baroque artist Diego Velázquez didn’t paint figures, but the air and light between them. And one could say about this film that it is not Velázquez’s larger-than-life painting “Las Meninas” that is the subject, but the penetrating gaze with which it looks back at his viewers. Among the many clever minds that discuss the artist and the intricate structure of this painting’s composition, it is curiosity itself that somnambulates here.

“Paintings aren’t movies, they’re paintings”, insists art critic and historian Svetlana Alpers. She’s right, of course – and then again, she isn’t. She’s one of the renowned talking heads interrogated by director Andrés Sanz Vicente to solve a crime. But who or what actually died? Perhaps our ability to see, as Alpers claims? For around 400 years, Diego Velázquez’ painting has been exposed to the eyes of its public, the analyses of its scientifically advanced critics who have racked their brains over who on the canvas enters through which door and why. “The Painting” is a continuation of this painting-eye-encounter with the means of cinema. The air and the light between the concrete thing and its passionately glowing aura are captured. In this, but only in this, a painting can be a movie after all.
Sylvia Görke
Poesie und Grenzgänge
Sinn und Sein
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