Monday, December 22, 2014

Timothy Spall's Unique Portrayal of a Reluctant Genius in Mr. Turner

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J.M.W. Turner (1775 – 11851), the English romantic landscape artist was a genius and an imperfect soul. His glorious paintings, watercolours that suggested the later Impressionist movement mostly captured sea and landscapes in moments of upheaval and brilliant colours. They indicate his wonder and awe at the natural world, and they also reveal a man in turmoil. Timothy Spall brings Turner to life – the artist, the eccentric and loner with two separate, concurrent families, a tragic family history and deeply ingrained need for privacy. We spoke with Spall in Toronto beginning with the way Turner’s physical nature helped Spall define his character:        
aturTimothy Spall as Turner
John Turner’s voice and the carriage didn’t seem to be of our time.  I don’t know what it was but they put me in a different time. Did that help you find the character?
The way people were, the way they are, people are people, clothes and etiquette was influenced by the way people behaved.  They had codes of practise.  A gentleman would never stand with feet together; he’d in a contrapuntal fashion, one leg behind the other. Marlon Brando did it in The Mutiny on the Bounty. But Turner was very much a contradictory man in many different ways he was a successful quite wealthy man, he made money early. He had the finest mind, a poly-aatur
J.M.W. Turner
mathic intellect and poetic soul but this character base, this simian character that came out of the mud dragged up out of the Thames. He had a rough, implosive character, everything he knew he sucked into himself; all informed how he felt when he was born.
bethlehemBethlehem Hospital                   
His mother informed the way he is and the relationship with his father the fact that his father had to over compensate. His mother was what they called a lunatic. Today a violent paranoid schizophrenic, and they had her committed which was difficult in those times. St Bethlehem Hospital which is the word Bedlam comes from was a looney bin.  So he carried this sorrow with him.  This was my detective work ...

...Read more at Timothy Spall on Mr. Turner 

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