Return to Departure (1987)

Run Time - 83 min.  |   Countries - Canada   |  
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Despite a premise which sounds entirely unpromising, this is reportedly an amazingly watchable film, even for non-painters. It is a documentary detailing, almost entirely through close-ups of an artist's brush, the evolution of an enormous tempera painting over a period of several months. As he paints, the artist narrates what he is doing, discussing such issues as why he has chosen the kinds of paint he is using, how texture and perspective and color work, what happens as a painting ages, and so on. Occasionally, the camera backs off to include the artist's hands. A tiny minority of images in a darkened room give viewers very brief glimpses of the artist himself.