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Absolute Wilson (2006)

Unrated | | Documentary | 12 October 2006 (Germany)
2:05 | Trailer

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From director, Katharina Otto-Bernstein, a provocative and moving documentary on the life and work of Robert Wilson, one of the most visionary and controversial theater artists of our time.... See full summary »
1 nomination. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Wilson ...
Arnold Aronson ...
Robin Brentano ...
Himself (archive footage)
Charles Fabius ...
Felipe Fernandez ...
Andy De Groat ...
Arthur Holmberg ...
George Klauber ...
Trudy Kramer ...
Harvey Lichtenstein ...
Cindy Lubar ...


From director, Katharina Otto-Bernstein, a provocative and moving documentary on the life and work of Robert Wilson, one of the most visionary and controversial theater artists of our time. The film delivers a surprisingly candid look at Robert Wilson, who drops his characteristic reticence and speaks with unprecedented candor about his personal life. Nothing is left in the shadows, as he discusses his troubled and lonely childhood as the son of the Mayor of Waco, Texas, his early learning disabilities, his work with disabled children using therapy as a tool for artistic expression, his departure from Texas at the time of his coming out and his fascination with the downtown New York avant-garde scene of the late 60's. What emerges is a life full of impressions, colors and rhythms, making it all the more poignant how Wilson's early hardships ultimately shaped his ground-breaking aesthetic vision. More than a biography, the film becomes an exhilarating exploration of the transformative ...

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Release Date:

12 October 2006 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Apsolutni Vilson  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$6,879 (USA) (27 October 2006)


$65,768 (USA) (16 March 2007)

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Technical Specs

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Did You Know?


Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major, BWV 1007; Prelude
By Johann Sebastian Bach
Performed by Alexander Rudin
Courtesy of Naxos of America
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User Reviews

A Pice of American Art History
4 October 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Chances are you have never heard of Robert Wilson, unless, of course, you followed the Avant-Garde scene of the 60s, 70s and 80s in New York and Europe. Then you'd know that Wilson is probably THE most influential figure of the Experimental Theatre Movement, a creative genius and progressive thinker that brought stage performances into the new era of performance art.

As a highly prolific collaborator with some of America's most notorious underground icons like Philip Glass, Tom Waits or William S. Burroughs, Wilson managed to awe the theater world abroad with spectacles that lasted sometimes as long as a full week. His innovative choreography and completely new approach of visual story telling drew a huge following from places as unlikely as Iran and as far away as Australia. The home front however, stayed surprisingly quiet with respect to commercial success or celebrity although his following is substantial within the scene. Hailed by Europeans as a creative powerhouse for decades now, it comes as no surprise that a German filmmaker took on the task to chronicle Wilson's life and works.

Writer / director Katharina Otto follows the path of young Wilson from his conservative upbringing in Waco, TX, the restricted childhood and family life to his creative evolution and impact on the art scene of his days. Through original footage of his productions inter-cut with interviews of many of his contemporaries and Wilson himself, the composition awakes curiosity even if experimental theater is not your cup of tea. Robert Wilson is fascinating as a human being not just as an artist, reaching way beyond his expected platform.

Otto's documentary is a well orchestrated package with a refined appeal, allowing the viewer to completely focus on the subject as a man rather than an icon. Everything from camera, soundtrack to editing is flawless, highlighting the stark visions Wilson brought to the stage and his way of life. Educational, entertaining and often surprising; a piece of American Art History.

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