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A muddled bore
Beuys is clearly a film whose success is completely reliant on the skill of the editor, and the editing was very sloppy. The filmmakers could not figure out how they wanted to approach their subject and the resulting approach is all over the place. The film starts off with a non-linear narrative driven by topic before suddenly shifting to a chronological structure. The film initially follows Beuys' development as an artist before becoming a character study half way through. While the style of the editing and the use of archive was interesting, the lack of focus made it impossible to get invested in what I was watching. This film did an especially poor job of explaining why any of his art is important. We are continuously told that Beuys wanted to "expand the meaning of art", and the film certainly acts as though Beuys was a visionary for believing this, but without properly explaining what that means or what any of his art means, there isn't a lot to keep the audience from thinking that Beuys is just a pretentious man. It's not until at least an hour into the film that an interpretation for one of his works is given, but by that point, the film had exhausted all the good will I had to offer.
- Jun 23, 2017
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