a film about Art
the origin of Art
and the artist, Marc Mulders
about meeting and working together
a documentary by Ben Jurna and Carrien Dijkstra

The completion of the film DEW honours the last request of cameraman, Hans Essenberg. In 1994 / 95 he filmed the young artist, Marc Mulders, as part of the series that he made together with director Ben Jurna on modern Dutch art. Afterwards he continued to meet with Marc on an occasional basis, sometimes in the company of camerawoman Carrien Dijkstra.
Hans's fascination with Marc Mulders's work continued unabated. When they saw each other in the beginning of 2006, he pointed out that, "There really should be a film made about it". He had just received news that he was incurably ill and had but a short time to live. "Please sell my house when I am gone," he urged Ben and Carrien, "and make that film."

Marc was pulled into the plans and shooting began in the summer of 2006 when Hans was still alive. He passed away later that fall. Marc, Ben and Carrien continued to work to fulfill his last request. They filmed for an entire year, using the 4 seasons that play such a salient role in Marc's work as their framework. Thanassis Pliakis looked after the sound and Hinne Brouwer the editing. The music was composed and performed by Truusje Melissen and Louis Ter Burg. And thus an exceptional documentary about an exceptional artist came into being.
In June of 2008 the film "DEW" was finished: the last wish was fulfilled, the pledge redeemed.

The philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein once said, "What we cannot talk about we must pass over in silence". This is what DEW is about: making visible what cannot be articulated. It is not the narrative, the history, the youth of the artist or the anecdotes, but the craft, his place in the tradition, compassion.
The film does not deal with his youth, his parents and his upbringing but rather his quandaries, his quest and his conquests. Months of labour over a painting of the Pietá. It became darker and darker. How can I gain mastery over this subject?

DEW is a film about Art. The origin of Art. DEW is also about the artist Marc Mulders. A controversial artist.

His work is housed in 15 Dutch museums. He has mounted solo exhibitions at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, De Pont in Tilburg, the Van Abbe Museum in Eindhoven and the Frans Hals Museum in Haarlem.
His stained glass in De Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam, Een Tuin van Glas (A Garden of Glass), commemorating the 25th anniversary of the coronation of Queen Beatrix, was acclaimed in 2006 as the most beautiful piece of art made in the past fifty years.

The film shows the stained glas window entitled The Last Judgement, for the Sint-Jan Cathedral in Den Bosch, in the making. His canvases, past and present, give a sense of his power. And his sensual paintings of flowers and wild animals emerge from the fecund vanitas-motief. He does not evade the existence of conflict. The events of 9-11 immediately made themselves felt in his work. Evil was given a countenance. Even so, the clash between spirituality and the fake reality-TV world, the ‘iconclash’ as he calls it, is given an outlet in his photography and collages.

Art journalist, Hans den Hartog Jager, speaks with Marc about what motivates him, his motifs, and the why behind his need to be generous. Armando meets Marc Mulders and Ronald Zuurmond in the exhibition, Painters pur sang.

Why does his work appeal to us so much? We see his lonely struggle in his atelier where he pushes the paint onto the canvas, standing amidst flowers, petals and thorns. Or together with wild animals and birds, overlaid with the effigy of the suffering Christ. He always comes back to this place. In search of his motivations and inspirations, we follow him as he visits his friends: of the former Tilburg School, the glass atelier, the florist, and making art together with Reinoud van Vught and Paul van Dongen.

We have attempted to create a "closeness", an "engagement", an intimacy. We pursue the groping explorations of the artist, the ephemeral resolutions, followed by the letting go. A human unfolding, the process of creation, the experience of an encounter.

The film was recorded in digibeta format, dutch spoken with English subtitles. Duration: 72 minutes.
Produced by Caraut AV Producties.

The premiere of the film was at The Dutch Film Festival 2008.

2009: official selection New York  International Independent Film and Video Festival

! AWARD  Best International Feature Documentary !

2009: official selection SCENECS Film Festival

DEW is also available on DVD. With English subtitles and in PAL and NTSC.

  • Nederlands
  • Engels
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