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Elke Baselitz ...
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Georg Baselitz ...
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11 April 2013 (Germany)  »

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Interesting insight into the artist's work
7 June 2015 | by (Berlin, Germany) – See all my reviews

This is a 90-minute (without credits) theatrical documentary centered on the life and work of German painter and sculptor Georg Baselitz. It is almost 2 years old and came out shortly after the protagonist's 75th birthday. Apart from interviews with his wife (some unintentional comedy to these) and sons, we hear a lot from people who have known Baselitz for many decades. The director and writer is Evelyn Schels and she worked on several other documentaries in the past, and even on German television evergreen GZSZ. So far, it's her last documentary and I'm curious what her next project will be. I liked her approach to do this film without a narrator, but instead let people close to the action (especially Baselitz) give us all the information.

I am not into painting at all, but I have to say I quite enjoyed this, probably because Baselitz is a truly interesting character. He was a rebel in his younger years, but has pretty much settled down now. That's also why is capable of telling many interesting anecdotes from his past or his approach to art. There are no really difficult concepts in here when it comes to his job which is also good, so you won't lose interest. Here and there there are segments which last several minutes where we don't hear anything, just watch the master during his work and that is perfectly. Actually the atmosphere is much better this way than with a narrator. But it's not only about artistry. It's also about history, society and the painter's private life. The first half of the film actually includes more of this, the second is more about his job. For example he travels to New York for the opening of a new exhibition.

These 90 minutes give a pretty good summary of everything you need to know about Baselitz, for example that he often paints upside-down. You don't even need to be familiar with him to enjoy this documentary and I knew hardly nothing before watching this. The only reason why I don't give it a higher rating is that the area of art is not my greatest interest. But still I recommend this to everybody and people who love paintings, especially modern ones, will probably have a great time watching.


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