Lowlands | Chicago Reader


Rated NR 51 minutes 2009

Local filmmaker (and Columbia College professor) Peter Thompson has the rare gift of making history seem mysterious and expansive, forging dreamlike connections between disparate facts and observations. This 2009 video centers on the life of Johannes Vermeer but also spins outward to consider various atrocities that befell the Netherlands during his lifetime, biographical interpretations of his paintings, and (in a crucial framing device) memories from Thompson's own childhood. "I often experience the historical world less as a series of 'facts' than as a stream of analogies and rhymes unearthed and amplified while walking the dog," Thompson once remarked; this is a vivid and earthy re-creation of that experience.

Film Credits

Director: Peter Thompson

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