Mathematician, scientist, and writer René Descartes is relentlessly determined to establish the primacy of reason in Rossellini’s portrait of the travails of the “father of modern philosophy.” Cartesius is both entertaining and edifying.
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A meditative film on Descartes philosophical and scientific (the two virtually indistinguishable at the time) journeys, this only seemingly sparse (the art directions is subtle, refined but never ostentatious) biopic captivates with the great authority of delivering the main role, the labor towards truth and the ample joys in references to the protestant ethic, the tulip craze, the balanced views on matter and soul.
Seen many years in a vhs copy and now rewatched at the film museum in a DVD copy, in a poorly defined projection in terms of image. Result: after the first part ("primo tempo"), i decided to leave since the film was being not much animic in these viewing conditions. Movies will undoubtedly gain or lose according to the ways of observation (conditions of the heart) that we have of them.