MoMA – 50 Masterworks from the Collection, Blu-ray (2011)

by | Dec 23, 2011 | DVD & Blu-ray Video Reviews

MoMA – 50 Masterworks from the Collection, Blu-ray (2011)
50 paintings from the NYC modern art museum
Studio: ScreenDreams Publishing [11/1/11]
Video: 16:9 1080p HD color
Audio: DD 2.0
Extras: Play All or create your own playlist; view with or without paragraph of description
Rating: ****
The Museum of Modern Art was founded in 1929 and is the foremost museum of modern art in the world. The 51st image here is of the patio area of the building. Each of the famous paintings is onscreen for about 30 seconds, with a short paragraph about it appearing partway thru and then only the painting for the remainder of the time. You can always hit the pause button when you wish; there’s no problem with the image being distorted as there was with videotape. The paintings reflect the variety and genius of these famous artists, and give the viewer uninformed about modern art some basic facts to attach to each painter and painting.
Included are works of Van Gogh, Matisse, Dali, Cezanne, Monet, Hopper, Seurat, Chagall, Pollack and Rousseau; and many others. The disc offers just one “Soothing Soundtrack” to accompany the paintings. It was background smooth jazz of no special consequence. The entire content repeats, so you could leave this on the screen with or without the sound during a party.  The notes advise one not to leave any of the images on pause for very long, because that could cause screen burn-in.
The image transfer is gorgeous, and the details of the famous paintings come across beautifully using Blu-ray, but I was concerned that many of the paintings do not show the entire painting but only a detail from it—fitting the 16:9 screen ratio. It would be nice if a choice was offered to switch between the detail and the entire canvas, even if it did not fit the horizontal 16:9 shape.  ScreenDreams has published a series of DVDs and Blu-rays under the slogan “Don’t just watch your TV. Live with it!”  They have published Living Aquarium, as well as two volumes of Living Fireplace. (Does Vol. 2 show someone putting another log on the fire?)
—John Sunier

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