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Old 4 Weeks Ago #1
steven clark
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 2,008
steven clark
Default The Last Vermeer

Once again, I was at the movies, and saw The last Vermeer, a period film about art and WWII in Holland. it is the story of Han Van Meergeren, a Dutch artist accused of collaboration with the Nazis.

It starts in 1945 in recently liberated Holland. Joseph Piller (Claes bang), a jewish officer in the resistance, now uniformed, is ordered to investigate Van Meergeren (Guy Pearce), an artist accused of collaboration. In the streets, collaborators are being executed in public, and Piller is expected to produce results.

Van Meergeren is a slippery fish. He is erudite, snobbish, and proclaims he's innocent, although he admits selling art to Goering, especially a lost Vermeer.
All this time, Meergeren demands paints so, even under confinement, he can paint.

Piller is exasperated, but is drawn closer to Meergeren. He sees the artist's friends, especially a mistress (Olivia Grant). Piller's own domestic life is shaky. His wife was part of the resistance, and in order to get secrets, she became an SS officer's mistress.

At a trial, Meergeren is found innocent. It turns out he is a forger, and completely painted a Vermeer he sold to Goering, taking pleasure in ripping off the Nazi. Meergeren is found not guilty.

However, Piller discovers Meergeren was a collaborator after all. Proof? The artist gave an autographed book of his own paintings to Hitler. Kind of seems like small potatoes, but in these kind of films, the mere breath of Hitler indicates evil.

Meergeren actually lived, was a forger, and did indeed pass off a Vermeer to Goering, although it seems in reality Goering used the picture to sell off and buy other works of art.

The movie was intriguing, although not top rate, and I enjoyed Pearce as Meegeren. He made the film, and seemed very swishy, although he wasn't queer and did have a wife.

The film captured the grimness and postwar persecution of Holland very well. I was reminded of Black Book (2007), another film about wartime Holland, also showing an ambiguous relationship between Jews, the SS, and Dutch.

As a film about WWII art, I liked it better then The Woman in Gold, a film about Klimt and his painting, recovered by a jewish woman from the Austrians...pretty soppy, with the character doing all the jewish character traits from 'loving, full of life yenta' to noble defender against the poor jews. The Last Vermeer was more watchable.

One thing: couldn't Piller have gotten a better hat? The British uniforms always have lousy, ill-fitting hats looking like pancakes with visors. They need to work on that.

It was an okay movie. What interests me as much is going to a movie theater these days. This was an AMC theater with four screens, and only twelve people were in the entire theater. TWELVE. They can't go on like this, and I agree with Andrew Anglin that movie going as we know it is over.

I read somewhere AMC is almost ready to close up. I think they're hoping Wonder Woman 1984 will save them. Lots of Luck on that.

Also, at AMC, I was required to fill out a form giving my name and address so I could tracked if any Covid cases came up at the showing...one with me and two other people in the audience twenty feet apart. I gave a phony name and number. I don't those bastards putting me in a file.
 
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