Following a rough chronology from 1884 to 1894, when Norwegian artist Edvard Munch began expressionism and established himself as northern Europe's most maligned and controversial artist, ... See full summary »
The War Game is a fictional, worst-case-scenario docu-drama about nuclear war and its aftermath in and around a typical English city. Although it won an Oscar for Best Documentary, it is ... See full summary »
Steven Shorter is the ultimate British music star. His music is listened to by everyone from pre-teens to grandparents. He has no trace of public bad habits or drug involvement. Everyone in... See full summary »
This character study joins the painter at the height of his fame in 1642, when his adored wife suddenly dies and his work takes a dark, sardonic turn that offends his patrons. By 1656, he ... See full summary »
The Seventies Folk is a 1975 television docu-drama written and directed by Peter Watkins that was produced by Dansmark Radio. The tele-film explores the high suicide rate in Denmark, the ... See full summary »
Erik L. Christensen
Following a rough chronology from 1884 to 1894, when Norwegian artist Edvard Munch began expressionism and established himself as northern Europe's most maligned and controversial artist, the film also flashes back to the death from consumption of his mother, when he was five, his sister's death, and his near death at 13 from pulmonary disease. The film finds enduring significance in Munch's brief affair with "Mrs. Heiberg" and his participation in the café society of anarchist Hans Jaeger in Christiania and later in Berlin with Strindberg. Through it all comes Munch's melancholy and his desire to render on canvas, cardboard, paper, stone, and wood his innermost feelings. Written by
I felt as if there were invisible threads between us. I felt as if invisible threads from her hair still twisted themselves around me. And, when she completely disappeared there, over the ocean, then I felt still how it hurt, where my heart bled, because the threads could not be broken.
See more »
At 221 minutes, this film pushes to the outer limits of its material and cinematic technique. Certainly the director's style is fresh and arresting, and the performances (if that's the right word for a 'fly-on-the-wall' directorial style), including the remarkable look-alike actor who plays Munch, are uniformly excellent. The art direction is also particularly impressive, evoking both late 19th century middle class and bohemian Europe with real pungency. The film concentrates on some of the main formative influences on Munch's art: his family relations, circle of friends and lovers. Munch's poor health as a child (you would never guess from this film that he actually lived to the age of 80) is given much prominence. The film, however, could not be described as a biography of the artist. It has nothing to say about his commercial success (which was not insignificant by 1897), what paintings he sold, how he supported himself, or anything about the second half of his life. For me, the last 30 minutes of the film seemed repetitive and, with the accumulation of repeated images and scenes, suffered from the law of diminishing returns. Perhaps the film's greatest strength is its exposition of the circumstances under which several key works in Munch's oeuvre were created. The depictions of the act of painting often the weakest element in such biopics are brilliantly handled by Watkins. Worth seeing. But worth owning?
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?