“Inside the Mind of Leonardo” screens at The Smith

Julian Jones’ documentary “Inside the Mind Of Leonardo” envisions Leonardo da Vinci’s innermost musings in a moody, style-heavy portrait screens at The Smith Opera House on Wednesday, January 14 at 7:30 pmSomething between a science-museum educational gimmick and an art film, Julian Jones’s Inside the Mind of Leonardo eschews straight biography in its portrait of the archetypal Renaissance man, instead setting fragments from his journals against present-day scenes of the places he lived and studied. Scottish actor Peter Capaldi may seem a strange choice to portray this son of Tuscany, but his reading of these notes — full of pregnant pauses, as if he were working the ideas out before us — fits Jones’s unusual approach perfectly. . Capaldi is presented as in a one-man stage production, wearing modern clothes in rooms so shabby only an art director could have furnished them. He stares at the floor, gazes into foggy mirrors, and looks piercingly into the lens when he has something particularly ambitious to say — which isn’t rare for a man who, as we learn here, was wholly devoted to leaving a mark on the world before turning to dust.As the “disciple of experience” speaks in detail of his intense observation of nature — describing water’s movement as it relates to the curls of human hair; laying out the proportions of a perfectly formed horse — Jones shows the artist’s sketches, often animating them digitally: Rain falls from clouds, birds sweep between mountains. Those who find such tactics hokey will admit they’re executed with as much taste as possible, with the exception of scenes in which human figures are made to move: Leonardo, one presumes, would have recoiled at the unnatural imitation of bodily movement.While every word Capaldi speaks is reportedly taken from the journals (in opening scenes, we follow an Italian archivist into the massive vault that protects them), onscreen titles provide a skeleton narrative of the artist’s movements and some details of his career. This film is unrated and has a runtime of 85 minutes. Tickets are $6 general admission, $5 students and seniors. The Smith Opera House is located at 82 Seneca Street, Geneva. Box Office Hours are Monday through Friday, 10am to 5pm and Saturday 10am to 2pm Phone: 315-781-5483. Email: boxoffice@thesmith.org For event listing and more information about The Smith and The Smith Center For The Arts, visit our website the smith.org

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