Realistic drama-documentary that rewards my soul with it's story. It demands full attention to understand all it layers though. Ambitious since it wants to tell the story behind every painting and is the closest I have come to see art and film painted into one big canvas.
Deeply honest and heartfelt, this insight into the troubled life and mind of expressionistic genius, Edvard Munch, is probably the greatest biopic I've ever seen. Structurally, in my opinion, this film is a masterpiece. The almost "The Office-like" mock-documentary style of film-making works really well here, as well as the Cinematography. The way some of the scenes are lit and framed makes them look like paintings.
A three and a half hour illustration of pure cinema about the life of the distraught yet masterful artist Edvard Munch (the guy behind “the scream’). The film plays as a documentary and at points feels so real that you forget it was filmed in the 70s rather than late 19th/early 20th century. On top of its haunting realism there’s a strangely bizarre quality. I’ve yet to see anything quite like Edvard Munch.
The protagonists looking directly into the camera removes all point of views and perspectives. It further creates the emotional distance of individuals physically near, mirroring the themes in Munch's paintings. The use of diegetic sound throughout also adds to the inner dimension against the fast spinning images populating Munch's outer experience. Intense themes treated with the utmost delicacy and honesty.
A tough if moving watch. A tad long and over-indulgent, perhaps but Watkins paints a picture of an age and societies in much the same way that Munch tried to channel emotions in his works - through colour and form and shadow and obscurantism. A revelatory and biopic.The sad, haunting gaze of Geir Westby will stick with you like Munch's grim images.
I think this film has changed my life. It encapsulates the emotional process of real art so well. Grief and it's build up can only be understood as a slow visual burning of the soul. I love the way the characters look at the camera with the confidence that we are seeing them and to remind us that this is documentary style. And the colours !! I wish I'd seen this on the big screen.
Expressionistic, in the form Munch, almost as if he's directed his own fly-on-the-wall autobiography. Easily one of the best ever biopics, set at the dawn of modern alternative political ideology, it then delves into a personal exploration of Munch's social and emotional life, showing aspects of him, a spectrum from romantic to misogynistic. An impressionistic blend of visual, aural and emotional light and shadow.
Had to watch this 3 1/2 hour beast in two halves (started it last night) but it was quite the unique and enthralling experience. Eye-opening, so dry that it feels practically Pythonesque at times, and while not always visually beautiful, it's gorgeously composed in the way it shows life events infusing the word of Munch. You wander into that world, like an animated display in a museum, and are never rushing to leave.
Unlike anything I have seen before. Hugely insightful bravura film-making that really captures the time, place and essence of Munch in a highly original way. It did drag a little in the middle, so I might have preferred the original 174 min cut, but this film is unquestionably a five-star work of art.
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