Stealing Klimt recounts the struggle by 90-year-old Maria Altmann to recover five Gustav Klimt paintings stolen from her family by the Nazis in Vienna. From the end of the War up until last... See full summary »
Michael J. Bazyler,
A character study and a meditation on art in a time of opulence and syphilis. Gustave Klimt (1862-1918) lies in hospital, dying. In reveries, he recalls the early 1900s: it's fin de siècle Vienna. At the World Exposition in Paris, Klimt meets Georges Méliès, who does a moving picture for him, and Klimt falls under the spell of a woman who may be Lea de Castro. We see Klimt in his studio; we meet his mother and sister, who suffer from mental illness. We watch Klimt the libertine. On his deathbed and as a younger man, he imagines things as well: encounters with ministers and waiters and with women who are willing participants in his pleasures. Is this the source of art?Written by
When Klimt mashes the cake in the man's face, the icing on the man's face is not covering his right eye. In the next close-up shot, there is a large blob of icing covering the man's right eye. In the next long shot when Klimt starts to wipe the man's face, the icing is no longer covering the man's right eye again. See more »
They say that you have to stand outside of history. This history is a nightmare. And that there's absolutely nothing else to be said about it. They sound like philosophers.Except they say philosophy is rubbish.
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Well, when I looked on IMDb for reviews on KLIMT, a film I've seen and loved twice (first in a longer theatre version, now on DVD), I didn't expect for a second that so many people hated it! On the 8 reviews on display there is only one to hail the film as a major work. So I feel I have to contribute, and agree with my fellow Frenchman on that one. KLIMT is one of the greatest films I have ever seen. It's original, it's fresh, it's bold and courageous, it's incredibly beautiful to look at, the music is exceptional, and I have no complaints about the actors. Honestly, I feel this movie is a great achievement for Raoul Ruiz. It's definitely not a biopic, it's not even a biography, it's more of a deep peek into Klimt's world, a bit like David Cronenberg's NAKED LUNCH was an immersion into the William Burroughs' universe. And the peek's a peak. To me it's a film about freedom, and a love letter to a time long gone, when art mattered and life mattered. The women are incredibly beautiful, Malkovich is believable (as always in this kind of role, which seems to bring about the best he's got to offer - like in PORTRAIT OF A LADY and DANGEROUS LIAISONS, he's witty, humorous and troubled), and of course Young Kinski was an inspired choice to play Schiele. Well, the criticisms seem to be about the film not being informative on Klimt's life. Come on! What do you expect from a film? It is a work of art, not meant to prevent you from reading! So Klimt's life has been told elsewhere I guess. I don't know a thing about Klimt myself (except having seen and been impressed by some of his paintings), but the film completely captivated me. I feel everything here is like the director intended it to be, and the choices Ruiz made are coherent throughout. Plus it's the best evocation of an era I have ever witnessed, with (it's been said before) gorgeous costumes and locations (and I've been watching three films a day for fifteen years). To conclude, I'd say the film maybe takes Klimt's character as a pretext (maybe Ruiz wouldn't agree) to really tell us other things, about life, death, art, and mostly freedom. It also reminded me somehow, in spirit if not much else, of some of Jess Franco's best 70's movies (also displaying a contagious feeling of freedom) (I would very much like to know if Ruiz would agree with that, as one of Franco's actors is in KLIMT - Herbert Fux). Thanks a lot for a rare film that will stay close to my heart for years to come.
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