FILM NIGHT! NATIONAL GALLERY
This month we feature a recent release a stunning insight behind the scenes of one of the world’s greatest collections of visual art The NATIONAL GALLERY, London.
A light supper and drinks will be provided along with private access to the current exhibition ARTEXPRESS
From The Guardian - Four out of Five Stars
Frederick Wiseman’s monumental documentary study of the National Gallery in London makes it look like a secular cathedral, full of hushed grandeur. The film is presented with Wiseman’s habitual clarity and austerity: no voiceovers, no obvious direction or overall “story”, just a succession of unhurried scenes – though it is slightly shorter than his recent work – and an emphasis on talking heads and professional expertise. There is a cerebral calm. Often, as we are permitted access to a budget meeting or PR discussion, an art-history lecture, nude life study or some craftsman’s minutely exacting restoration work, you will be intensely aware of the gallery’s background silence, which is as an almost audible hum. Maybe it is the lighting or the air-con, or the distant bee-like murmur of the public in some far-off exhibition space, or maybe even the distant traffic of Trafalgar Square.
We begin with an intriguing address on the subject of a work from the Middle Ages, an altarpiece designed to be seen in a church. These images were drenched in belief. Now, in our secular age, the gallery enacts this religious impulse and religious rhetoric. Wiseman begins with a succession of shots of the paintings and portraits, and juxtaposes these with the gallery visitors: they are the pilgrims of art and civic high seriousness. The curators and scholars are generally heard speaking with an echoey tone – like a priest’s address in church. An intriguing and valuable record.