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799 Ratings

Edvard Munch

Directed by Peter Watkins
Sweden, Norway, 1974
Biography, Drama, History


The troubled life and career of one of Norway’s most celebrated artists is examined with documentary-style realism in this biography from celebrated filmmaker Peter Watkins.

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Edvard Munch Directed by Peter Watkins

Awards & Festivals

BAFTA Awards

1977 | Winner: Best Foreign Programme (Television)

Critics reviews

It is as an attempt to find a cinematic vocabulary with which to “paint the fleeting moment of significance” that Edvard Munch arrives at its most staggering effects. When Watkins is at his best, few other filmmakers could shoot a historical re-enactment with such attention to what it would have been like to be there in a particular studio, bedroom, café, or bar, struck by a particular barrage of smells, proximities, blushes, emanations, fragments of music, and casts of light.
April 10, 2015
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…Another prominent nonfiction element of the film is that it features many Norwegian non-actors speaking directly to the camera about their real emotional experiences as working-class people. Dressed in 1880s-era costumes, these interview subjects… are performing themselves, creating expressive art from reality, which mimics the goals of the artist himself. Images are repeated and sounds from scenes continue into the next scene, profoundly conjuring the hazy, alienated state of Munch’s mind.
October 11, 2013
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I make arts documentaries for a living and I think this film is one of the greatest artist biopics ever made. Other filmmakers, such as Ken Russell and Derek Jarman, have attempted to transcend biography and analysis and re-create an artist’s subjective vision, but few have been as successful as Watkins.
September 01, 2012
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What are people saying?

  • EdieEmm's rating of the film Edvard Munch

    Of course there's something very Watkins about this. But there's something else to it as well. Not quite something Munch... More like, some part of Watkins, turned over to deep, creative empathy with Munch. Like a medium, channelling the essence of Munch, asking him to co-direct the film. Layered, saturated with context, with multiple expressions of time, with feeling, with the clarity and chaos of subjectivity. 4.5

  • lndah's rating of the film Edvard Munch

    Perayaan perasaan tak terkata yg diekspresikan didetil hidup Edvard Munch hanya dapat dinikmati kaum kelas menengah atas. Untuk kaum dibawahnya, ada rasa 'terkatakan' yg belum selesai mereka benahi. Lucunya, yg bukan kaum terkutuk dg kasta rendah pun meromantisir hidup. Kegelisahan dan kegamangan yang kita tahu juga produk sampingan kebebasan, waktu luang dan privilese.

  • josé neves's rating of the film Edvard Munch

    As in Alain Resnais' "Je T'Aime Je T'Aime" and "Muriel", editing is a process of living in the present by intermittent and matrix recurrences of the past, by its presence and its conflict that determines the characters who are living by memory, in thought(s), of blood and pain. It's "una cosa mentale" that fills the body of a film that, like a biotic organism, is living by and in the experience of its composition.

  • msmichel's rating of the film Edvard Munch

    Though my druthers would be "La Commune" or "Punishment Park" this seems to be the work that Watkins is best known for. This meandering but rewarding endurance test is more about an artist's soul than his work and the concentration is more on a scarred upbringing and a doomed adulterous affair than the making of art. The cinematography is quite extraordinary in its naturalness. Well worth the time commitment.

  • Gondo's rating of the film Edvard Munch

    What an artist goes through during the creation of his works and the associated unleashing of his deepest and most painful truths has rarely been portrayed as beautiful, tragic and honest as here.

  • Karl J. Kipling's rating of the film Edvard Munch

    3.5. The version longue is a mistake, I think. Watkins' technique becomes monotonous. The repetition, the voiceover commentary, the flashbacks, the smoky bars, Edvard's sullen mug. "And so for the fifteenth time in the picture Munch held an exhibition that received a universally hostile reception," etc.

  • Truls Foss's rating of the film Edvard Munch

    Outstanding. It reflects around the life of Edvard Munch in a really psychological and poetic way, but still easy to watch and enjoy. The cinematographic compositions feels just like Much’s pictures. And the way of storytelling really sets you inn to the age witch the story takes place. The whole movie feels so truly dedicated to the art, life and time of Edvard Munch. The best Norwegian movie I have ever seen!

  • rajiv ibrahim's rating of the film Edvard Munch

    just like edvard munch's painting style, watkin's style of directing is also abstract, it's kinda difficult at first but getting more clearer towards the finale especially the last hour, and definitely not enough to watch this just one time especially for amateur like me, and oddly, the least abstract thing in this movie for me is the abstract painting itself..

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