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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Art > Religion > A Model For Matisse (Documentary/Architecture/Art)

A Model For Matisse (Documentary/Architecture/Art)


Picture: C     Sound: C+     Extras: C     Documentary: B-



Matisse is an artist whose reputation has survived and one more widely celebrated than many of his contemporaries.  There are also stories you might not hear about his art (and of others for that matter) worth hearing about.  Barbara F. Freed managed to talk to Sister Jacques-Marie who at 21 years old met Matisse via a newspaper ad in 1941.  The result led to a friendship that literally built a chapel and this documentary, A Model For Matisse.


Despite the reluctance of some of her higher-ups, who were overruled, Matisse designed what turned out to be an amazing work of art.  However, this was in part based on Sister Jacques-Marie’s basic design and ran with it.  This also included painting some of the images on large walls at a late age with great effort on his own.  Running only 67 minutes, it still manages to drag a bit, but Freed is being as thorough as possible and that is worth it.


The 1.33 X 1 image is soft throughout, coming from the transfer of an analog video format to MPEG compression.  Color is off, though the ones Matisse is responsible for ironically stick out the best.  The archival footage is a plus.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 sound is simple stereo at best and there are burned-in subtitles.  Extras include stills, two DVD-ROM obituaries on Sister Jacques-Marie, trailers for other First Run titles, and text notes on the film & bio of the director.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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