Edvard Munch-Special Edition 2-DVD Set
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"Famously described by Ingmar Bergman as a ""work of genius"", Peter Watkins' multi-faceted masterpiece is more than just a bio-pic of the iconic Norwegian Expressionist painter. Focusing initially on Munch's formative years in late 19th Century Kristiania (now Oslo), Watkins uses his trademark style to create a vivid picture of the emotional, political and social upheavals that would have such an effect on his art.
The young artist (Geir Westby) has an affair with ""Mrs Heiberg"" (Gro Fraas), a devastating experience that will haunt him for the rest of his life, and his work is viciously attacked by the critics and public alike. He is forced to leave his home country for Berlin, where, along with the notorious
Swedish playwright August Strindberg, he becomes part of the cultural storm that is to sweep Europe.
Top Customer Reviews
He neither uses color to excite emotional states in the viewer, which was the aim of the German expressionists Munch influenced, nor employs color to provoke the eye, which was the goal of the French fauves who cleared the path for the German expressionists. For all their symbolic resonances and personal inflections, Munch's colors describe his subjects through indolence and fatigued disarray, with gossamer-light brush strokes visible on the canvas like embodiments of the afflicted pathos and distilled by the gravitas of a melancholy hopelessness.
In Munch, strong feeling both dignifies a person and threatens to destroy his humanity.Read more ›
Perhaps every aspect of this film is avant-garde, from its editing all the way down to its casting (many parts were played by non-professionals), but perhaps no other movie has enveloped me in its universe the way that Munch does. I have always marveled at how little-known Peter Watkins' Edvard Munch is, and I've been so thankful that it found me. You will be too.
In interviews, director Peter Watkins has been explicit about his total identification with Munch, how in the obsessive effort to portray the artist's life on screen, he effectively was revealing his own neuroses and experiences. People might be put off by the results. Watkins gives the film the look of a fictional biography. He then films events as if he were a documentary filmmaker present at the time. So there is a lot of loose, hand-held camera; there are "interviews" with actors (many of whom improvised or wrote their responses) speaking in character; and Watkins himself frequently intrudes with narration that helps us understand both Munch's significance in the history of art and how his times influenced his work. The voice-over also tells us what Munch feels and experiences, much as the narrator of a novel pretends to know what his protagonist is thinking at any given moment.
It is this effort to reveal the relationship between the artist's turmoil and his work that motivates the kaleidoscopic editing style, jumping from one event in the "present," to one in the past, sideways to another, back to something else we've already seen, then out again. Sometimes these edits are built on visual associations; often Watkins relies on the soundtrack to glue them together. It is here that the film's ambitions start to unravel. Other filmmakers who have used such technique (Eisenstein, Resnais, Godard and Roeg, for example) let their cuts ebb and flow over time.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Repetitive movie, wish there was more focus on the art vs a repeated theme of a desire to be outside social norms but edvard grasping at the social norm with his mistresses (either... Read morePublished 1 month ago by J. Brunson
This was a great film covering many aspects of life in Kristiania (Oslo), child labor, politics, tuberculosis and sexual mores, including women's thoughts on this. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Joyce J.
Weak. I didn't even finish it. Too bad, such an interesting subject.Published 8 months ago by Gertie Larson
Absolutely the most boring movie I have ever watched and I love Munch as an artist. Would drown myself before watching it again.Published 10 months ago by Thomas E Hydrick
Enjoyed the focus on what experiences make who we are.. how we embrace them and how they can undo us.. good film.Published 11 months ago by Matthew R. Jacks
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