‘My Rembrandt’ Review: Seeing a Dutch Master Everywhere
For the documentary “My Rembrandt,” the director Oeke Hoogendijk assembles an assortment of Rembrandt owners and experts whose interests in the Dutch master have, for different reasons, taken on faintly obsessive dimensions.
The Duke of Buccleuch in Scotland speaks of the subject of “Old Woman Reading” (1655) as if she were alive (“she is the most powerful presence in this house”) and strives to find the ideal viewing angle and lighting for the painting in a new room. The billionaire investor Thomas S. Kaplan, who has to pause when tallying how many Rembrandts he owns, recalls kissing one as soon as he had the legal right to do so.
There’s no question that Six has a sharp eye (the Rembrandt expert Ernst van de Wetering eventually signs off on the discovery), but what’s more suggestive is his conviction that the painting is an “in-your-face” Rembrandt. Could anyone be so sure? Might an art dealer with this bloodline be primed to see Rembrandt everywhere? But Hoogendijk largely seems to take her subjects at face value. While “My Rembrandt” poses heady questions about the difference between acquisitiveness and appreciation, it mostly plays like a straight art-world documentary that itself would have benefited from a more vertiginous, obsessive approach.
Not rated. In English, Dutch and French, with subtitles. Running time: 1 hour 37 minutes. Watch through Film Forum’s Virtual Cinema.