Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Victorian Pharmacy by Rebekah Hakkenberg

My latest obsession. Bloodletting, purging, oil of earthworm and cold bath treatments... historian Ruth Goodman is adorable charming, and her enthusiasm for the topic is infectious (excuse the pun), and the rustic wooden floors, old Victorian glass bottles, the quaint paper labels on jars, and scary medical contraptions are so inspiring.
A screen shot from Victorian Pharmacy, or a Vermeer painting?

A scene in the first episode stands out in particular: off camera, Goodman disrobes for her icy cold water cure while the camera rests on her well-worn lace up boots as they are put to one side, and a pale pink corset and ruffled petticoat are draped over a painted screen.   I love the way BBC documentary programs are lit and styled; more like a dutch realist still-life than a reality program.  This show is educational and a visual treat.  

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