Movie Review: FLORENCE AND THE UFFIZI GALLERY 3D/4K (Italy 2016)

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Directed by Luca Viotto

One of the world’s greatest attractions in Florence, Italy is the Uffizi Gallery and the central dome.  It is Renaissance art at its finest.  Cineplex’s Third Season of ‘In The Gallery’– A Spectacular Cinematic Tour of Exhibits From Around The World features this attraction.

The documentary both explores and discovers the city of Florence, artistic home to legendary figures like Michelangelo, Brunelleschi, Raphael, Leonardo and Botticelli with a detailed, central chapter dedicated to the very treasure house containing their masterpieces: the Uffizi Gallery.  The ‘secret story’ of each of the timeless works of art in the gallery is disclosed in all its beauty, including the breathtaking “Adoration of the Magi” by Leonardo Da Vinci, which will be brought back to life in 2016, after several years of restoration, and here unveiled in worldwide exclusive premiere on the big screen.  Also, a fascinating, Gothic-flavoured interlude will display much darker, more monstrous and frightening paintings, such as those by Caravaggio.

Several other selected paintings are also displayed on the screen with great 3D detail and with voiceover interpretation.  Who could ask for anything more?  The audience is given full access to proximity of greatness without having to fight with the crowds for a viewing.  

Among my favourites shown in the film is the painting: The Birth of Venus (Italian: Nascita di Venere [ˈnaʃʃita di ˈvɛːnere]) by Sandro Botticelli (mid 1480’s).   Voiceover informs the history that Botticelli was commissioned to paint the work by the Medici family of Florence, specifically Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de’ Medici under the influence of his cousin Lorenzo de’ Medici, close patron to Botticelli.   The painting depicts the goddess Venus, having emerged from the sea as an adult woman, arriving at the shore on a shell.  Zepher blows accompanied by Chloris.

A fair portion of the film features actor Simon Merrells portraying Lorenzo Il Magnifico talking abut his art as if his character is alive.  This is not really credible nor does anything above a normal voiceover.  Moreover, Merrells is not a particularly good actor either.   These segments be best edited out of the film.

The Gallery attracts about 2 million visitors annually.  This is the chance for filmgoers to experience a unique experience without having to travel to Florence or weave through the crowded halls in a gallery not originally designed to be a visitor’s museum.  The film, a multidimensional and multi-sensory journey in the Florentine Renaissance through its most representative beauties, where the latest-generation 3D and 4K technology and the most advanced techniques of modelling and dimensionalization are put at the service of the national artistic heritage to valorise it and to export it all over the world is a definite must-see!  The film took the Italian box-office by storm scoring first place in its first two days of initial release.

This is a special presentation with limited screenings.  Showtimes are: 3D presentation on Jan 21 and the 2D presentation on Feb 21.


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