Suzanne Raes: Close to Vermeer

What a wonderful painter! Johannes Vermeer 1632-1675. 35 works are known from his hand. 28 of them are now on exhibition in Amsterdam at the Rijks Museum. Until June. Said to be all sold out! It’s there after years of research and negociations with museums all over the world.

Which is so beautifully documented and interpreted by Suzanne Raes in her film “Close to Vermeer” that will run in theatres in Netherlands, maybe it already does and is of course taken for the respected art film festival in Montréal, where it is programmed for the 18th of March. Many other festivals will for sure pick it up from Decker Distribution in Germany.

High quality because it literally invites you to go close to Vermeer. To the painter to could catch the moment and knew how to deal with light. And women sitting at tables with men standing/flirting with them. Or sewing, or pouring milk or… pure beauty, making the spectator emotional. Also because of the curator Gregor Weber, whose last exhibition this is before retirement. He is asked what is so special about the painter, he starts to answer but stops, he can´t go, says “sorry”, too emotional for him just as another expert, himself a painter who remembers the first Vermeer he saw and starts crying… the filmmaker gave me tears in eyes at these moments in a film that has many layers and qualities – the passion conveyed, the visits to the laboratories, the meetings with curators in other museums, the discussion about whether “The Woman with the Pen” is a Vermeer or not, the close-ups of the paintings, wonderful. Where the fine “My Rembrandt” by Oeke Hoogendijk gives a fascinating insight to the (commercial) world of art, “Close to Vermeer” is a multilayered, generous invitation to an Artist, we all love but here is invited to know so much more about than we did before.

The Netherlands, 2023, 78 mins. 

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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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