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Inside the Mind of Leonardo

Studio: Submarine Deluxe/History Films
Directed by Julian Jones

Dec 18, 2014 Web Exclusive
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Whether as an inventor, an artist, or as a scientist, Leonardo Da Vinci’s works were motivated — as this documentary speculates, and quotes from Da Vinci’s diaries seem to back up — by his need to leave a lasting mark on mankind long after his death. It’s easy, then, to imagine that history’s foremost polymath would have been perfectly tickled to see his life dissected nearly 400 years after his death as a 3D movie.

Julian Jones’ documentary is first an exploration of the factors that motivated Da Vinci’s ambitions, and a biography second. Passages from Da Vinci’s journals are dramatized by U.K. thespian (and current Doctor Who) Peter Capaldi, who reads an appreciable, humanizing nuance into everything from groundbreaking scientific hypotheses to Da Vinci’s dirty jokes and shopping lists. Biographical milestones are abstractly portrayed by other actors, often in modern settings. Jones avoids giving a play-by-play of Da Vinci’s life, opting instead to take broader strokes; as the film’s title alludes, the movie is less about telling us what Da Vinci achieved and how, but attempting to figure out why he did what he did. The results are significantly more compelling and every bit as educational.

Author rating: 6/10

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Robert J
January 5th 2016

Leo Da Vinci is one of the top 5 people i would bring back for a 20 minute conversation