Review of Edvard Munch (1974)

Moving picture, 3.5 hours

Seen in 2020.

The artist’s entire career.

It was a good move to apply Watkins’ radical realism to art history. I love the extensive contextualization, including the TV-style interviews with actors wearing period garb and no makeup, showing minimal affect, simply outlining typical opinions to bring the period to life. These realistic features combine with both Soviet-style montages and pretty reasonable hermeneutics, all mutually reinforcing one another. It does grow into rather a catalogue though; despite the promise of breakthroughts and revolution, it’s just a biography celebrating one of the most celebrated painters of all time, no matter how heavily Watkins emphasizes that a lot of contemporary critics disliked Munch.

moving picture fiction