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Case Number 22959: Small Claims Court

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MoMA: The Museum of Modern Art

ScreenDreams // 2011 // 25 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Appellate Judge James A. Stewart (Retired) // December 17th, 2011

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All Rise...

Appellate Judge James A. Stewart is running late today; he's trapped in a Dali-esque landscape of melting clocks.

Editor's Note

Our review of MoMA: The Museum of Modern Art (Blu-ray), published January 7th, 2012, is also available.

The Charge

"Looking at the stars makes me dream. Why, I ask myself, shouldn't the shining dots of the sky be as accessible as the black dots on the map of France?"—Vincent Van Gogh

The Case

MoMA: The Museum of Modern Art offers viewers fifty great paintings, shown for about 30 seconds apiece, from the collection of the New York museum, with "soothing music" playing. The images and music start over again at the end.

Depending on your preference, you can turn it into a relaxation tape or an opportunity to learn a little bit; it offers the paintings with or without background information. If you choose to learn, you can find out the artists, titles, and a quote (like the Van Gogh words above) or brief snippet of information. You can even find out the measurements (in case you're planning on buying the original from the MoMA when you hit the lottery and hanging it on your own wall, I guess).

The works include Van Gogh's The Starry Night, Claude Monet's Water Lillies, Marc Chagall's Birthday, Edvard Munch's The Storm, Jasper Johns' Map, and Salvador Dali's The Persistence of Vision.

I will note that there are several nudes, including Paul Gauguin's The Soul of the Areoi, Fernard Léger's Three Women, and Henri Matisse's Dance (I). This is modern art, so they're mostly abstract and not explicit.

Most of the artists are familiar, although I can't recall any prior encounters with Émile Bernard, whose excellent Iron Bridge at Asnières is included.

If you read the DVD cover, you'll notice that it promises more than 50 minutes of art; that's presuming you watch both options. It's quite likely you will, but it's still fudging. Some viewers will want to pause on the text info, too, but the pause time isn't included.

You're likely to watch both options at least once, but MoMA: The Museum of Modern Art will mainly appeal to those who intend repeat viewing.

The Verdict

Not guilty.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 85

Perp Profile

Studio: ScreenDreams
Video Formats:
• 1.78:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
• English
Running Time: 25 Minutes
Release Year: 2011
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Documentary

Distinguishing Marks

• Text Descriptions


• The Museum of Modern Art

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