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Klimt


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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Gustav Klimt lived his life like he painted it – full of intensity, sensuality and passion. In this biographical fantasy by acclaimed director Raúl Ruiz (Time Regained), Klimt (John Malkovich) recalls the decadence of his past in feverish visions from his deathbed. Reflecting on his many torrid affairs and his struggles for artistic freedom, he travels back to the 1900 World Exhibition in Paris. There, Klimt is introduced to a mysterious dancer, Lea de Castro (Saffron Burrows), who emerges as his muse and the personification of his own erotic ideals and carnal desires.

DVD Extras:
Making-of Featurette, Original Theatrical Trailer

Amazon.com

John Malkovich inhabits the role of dissolute artist Gustav Klimt so completely one almost expects to see his wild-eyed features reflected in Klimt's well-known painting The Kiss. The story is a (very) loose biopic about the tortured life of the Austrian artist, whose deathbed ruminations begin the film and the flashbacks that begin to paint the portrait of his incredible, hedonistic life. Even in the relative freeness and sophistication of fin de siècle Europe, Klimt and his fascination with the overtly erotic were bound to become lightning rods for high society, not to mention the self-protective Western art world. Yet Klimt declares (over and over), "I don't give a [bleep] what the critics think," and he begins to build his signature sensual paintings--and a growing grudging respect in his home country as well.

Malkovich is well matched by Saffron Burrows, who plays a witchy French dancer as committed to the idea, and expression, of free love as is the maestro. The film is especially noteworthy for its lush cinematography, which does remarkable justice especially to Klimt's famed "gold" paintings (of which The Kiss is still one of the most recognizable). The city of Vienna itself appears to be lit from within by a million golden candles. --A.T. Hurley


Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: John Malkovich, Veronica Ferres, Saffron Burrows, Stephen Dillane
  • Directors: Raoul Ruiz
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English, French, German
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Koch Lorber Films
  • DVD Release Date: January 8, 2008
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000WZAE7W
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,668 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Klimt" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

This is one of the worst movies ever made.
F. J. Greyling
After watching it almost twice, I don't know what I was supposed to take away from this film, if anything.
R.M. Wells
Largely unexplored by this film are the Vienna Secession, and the development of Klimt's artistic style.
Easton Reader

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 54 people found the following review helpful By B. Stockwell on January 11, 2008
Format: DVD
This is a very VERY bad film and Dee J. probably didn't even watch it. Klimt was Austrian, not German, okay? He lived in Vienna, Austria. To paraphrase from a review from the Columbus Dispatch, the film sheds little light on the artist. It's the kind of film that gives Art House films a bad name. There isn't much of a plot, just a series of generally bizarre incidents in which Klimt meets potential models, patrons, family and others. He treats them with indifference and contempt, just as they do him. The real Klimt was famous for his reticence and generosity. The film shows him in situations that never happened and with people he never met. Klimt is depicted dying of syphilis. In reality, Klimt suffered a stroke and succumbed to influenza. Malkovich looks good but doesn't do much. He lacks much expression or emotion, but he does LOOK a little like Klimt. So what? He's actually pretty annoying and vapid. Much like the film. If you're wondering why this film went straight to video, read any online reviews. Steer clear of this one. It's gold-leafed pseudo-Artistic drivel.
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42 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Luca Graziuso and Marina Ross on April 27, 2008
Format: DVD
The motion picture "Klimt" by the vangardist director Raul Ruiz is a nonchalantly descriptive allegory of the art of Klimt more so than a purist's biopic. The resonant lyricism of the cinematography has an appeal of its own, but the movie suffers from a neurosis of sober surrealism rather than the decadent Viennese indomitable foray of which Klimt is a patriarch. We see Egon Schiele as a flaky genius who revered Gustav Klimt while swirled within a psychotic dispondancy outlined by art critics and a clinical practice where Klimt was receiving treatment for Syphilis. The movie is staged well and creatively portrayed but the artistic intentions of the director become entangled in a state of overindulgence where the fictive recreation of Klimt's last and most productive years are saturated by a prosthetic expressionism that overwhelms the designs of the creators. The farrago of jaded models and Jewish paramours stands to make of the eroticism of the painter into a detached grandiloquence he carelessly stands ceremony upon while critics insinuate and frame to their liking and in consonance with a theoretical/moral decrepitude well on its way. John Malkovich overcompensated for the duldrums of an era and the unaffected delirium that he chances to become a spectator of instead of a victim to. The importunity of such a representation are deserving merit but fail to characterize the passion and zeal of a master who changed the art scene. No reference to influences are made and no epiphanies are ever sallied through the movie. The rhythm is decadent and the mood ominous, but of such talents and expertise we were well aware and even used to when it comes to Ruiz.Read more ›
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A. M. Smith on January 13, 2008
Format: DVD
The one star I'm giving this is strictly for the lushness of the photograhy, sets and costumes. The filmmaker's trying so hard to be artsy that it gets almost nauseating. The surreal, disjointed scenes are nearly impossible to follow, but I was determined to persevere to the end, assuming all those loose ends might cohere eventually. They didn't. I was not expcting a biopic but I did expect SOME verisimilitude. Klimt was a trendsetter who influnced many artists of his time and beyond, and his memory deserves better than this abomintion. He's probably spining in his grave at this very moment.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Diana Faillace Von Behren TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 18, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Obviously, Raoul Ruiz's fantasy flick about Viennese Fin-de-Siecle artist, Gustav Klimt was honed down quite a bit to fit into a 97 minute format for theatrical presentation. Unfortunately, this DVD does not include the longer director's cut that in all probability would shed some much needed light on this cinematic phantasmagoria.

A miscast John Malkovich plays Klimt with a disdainful aloofness that I imagine does not adequately represent the artist's humble background. Klimt's decorative paintings implementing design techniques and motifs found in Byzantine mosaics and Egyptian and Japanese art, revolve mainly around his obsession with the female form. Many of his overtly sexual allegorical drawings were considered pornographic--indeed he was criticized for this at the time and he thumbed his nose at his critics with his painting "Goldfish" where his model is deliberately posed with her derriere presented to the observer and subtitled: "To my Critics." Klimt's erotic nature is exemplified by his many relationships with his models--he never married but fathered at least fourteen children--and the erotic poses he captured--most notably Danae depicting a woman in the throes of orgasm.

My brief history suggests an earthier Klimt than that depicted by the effete Malkovich. Nonetheless Ruiz's vision of Klimt begins with him in a hospital on his deathbed, suffering from the ravages of advanced syphilis (Klimt died of pneumonia) and looking back on a life that he equates with an inferno of sorts. Frequently, Malkovich as Klimt quotes from Dante and indeed he like the esteemed poet was plagued with his fair share of Beatrices.

Fashion designer Midi or Emilie Floge, (Veronica Ferres ) makes a lovely companion for the reckless Klimt.
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