IT’s true that few men will ever be as inspirational and fascinating as Leonardo. That’s da Vinci, by the way, not DiCaprio.
This made-for-TV movie directed by Julian Jones gives the viewer a sharper focus on the world inside the mind of the Renaissance man par excellence. Leonard da Vinci is brought to life by acclaimed BAFTA-winning actor Peter Capaldi in this dramatised documentary.
The film is based on the artist’s private journals dating from the Italian Renaissance.
With more than 6,000 pages of handwritten notes and drawings, da Vinci’s private journals are the most comprehensive documents that chronicle the work of the world’s most renowned inventor, philosopher, painter and genius.
Using this precious collection of writings and drawings to recount da Vinci’s story in his own words, and combining them with visual effects and 3D technology, Jones recreates the mindscape and ideas of mankind’s greatest polymath.
In a powerfully haunting performance, award-winning actor Peter Capaldi — best known for his performance as spin doctor Malcolm Tucker in BBC series The Thick Of It — portrays Leonardo and dramatically narrates passages and monologues from these journals.
Capaldi captures the passion of Leonardo’s ambition, his opinion of the world and his views on art and life. From the epic to the ordinary, the documentary explores how Leonardo experienced the world around him.
Following a biographical narrative, the film captures the thwarted ambitions, hurt, anger and sexual desire of a tortured genius, as documented within his diaries. It also lays bare the mundane minutiae of his normal, everyday life — his shopping lists, health tips and bawdy jokes.
This feature-length version of Sky Arts’ experimental documentary is also credited with showing breathtaking photography of modern Italy.
The film shows at the Regal Picturehouse on Tuesday, September 10 at 6.30pm.