11 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
Artistic and scientific freedom enchained, even in so-called "free" countries
JvH48 from Amersfoort, The Netherlands
26 February 2011
This film is about artistic freedom. In the ideal world it should be
minimally bound by political, economical or other constraints hindering
the creative mind. The story starts with the portrayed filmmaker
stumbling on Soviet censors, who are not satisfied with his work. They
decide to replace him by someone more "professional" (of course, they
actually mean "flexible").
A few incidents later his new location becomes Paris, to where the
filmmaker moved in hopes for more freedom to follow his own ideas. How
wrong he is, though other limitations become prevailing here, strongly
influenced by commercial and budgetary considerations. In other words,
a heavy emphasis on the box office. Anyway, he is enchained again,
though this time for different reasons.
This seems to be the story of his life. As a child he discovered his
talent with a photo camera, at which time he also had to cope with
disagreeing parents. The film title is a variation on the French
expression: Chantre Pas, or: Cannot Sing. Freely translated "Outsider",
because that is what he will be throughout his life time.
One may think that these limitations are only affecting artistic
professions, like film directors, painters, writers, and so on. But the
very same applies to e.g. knowledge workers, interested in advancing
technology or improving quality, while their bean-counting managers
only measure how planning and budget compare with actual results. Being
a knowledge worker myself, I find many similarities with the "outsider"
who is the main character of this movie.
About the film itself, I have one comment. Several archive pieces were
shown, probably to provide for some background. I would propose to
leave them out altogether, if only to reduce the 122 minutes length to
something more fitting the issues covered.
All in all, the theme is very interesting and the scenario achieves
much of its potential, especially by demonstrating that similar but
different obstacles become manifest in two very different countries. I
don't see, however, these dilemma's will appeal as much to the average
film consumer. That I felt myself heavily involved in the subject, can
be explained easily from my own professional background. Some evasive
maneuvers were often necessary to get the results that I myself found
satisfactory. Usually that went rather smoothly, so I cannot complain
myself about the freedom I got. Still, the tension is always there in
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