Fantastic World of M.C. Escher, The (DVD Review)9 Mar, 2006 By: Jessica Wolf
Prebook 3/14/06; Street 4/11/06
Escher is one of those artists you could use a little help with. Art is visceral; often the viewer simply “likes what they like” with little reason.
No one could look at a work by Escher and not appreciate the Dutch artist's sense of detail, texture and use of dark and light. What this documentary does is show that Escher's work is not just visually interesting, but stunningly structured by an artist with the mind of a mathematical genius.
The program spends a great deal of time investigating the geometric and mathematical construct of Escher's art, featuring interviews with friends, biographers, art critics and mathematicians who studied his work and communicated ideas to the artist.
It starts, however, by presenting landscapes, architecture and art in Italy and Spain that greatly influenced the Dutchman as he lived in both countries.
The program is split into 11 chapters, the most interesting of which are titled “Imaginary Fantasy” and “Escher's World.” It is here we set the math to the side a bit and dive into the pure imagination and invention that lived so fully in this artist.
This is an educational piece, no doubt. It plays like a PBS special that would be shown in a classroom, which is a good thing. Anyone interested in art or even math will learn much with this documentary. It's short and enjoyable.