Edvard Munch (1974)

A great skill was used to develop the film I just watched. It paints the portrait of celebrated and groundbreaking 19th century Norwegian artist Edvard Munch - famous for "The Scream." For three hours and forty minutes we survey scenes from Munch's life filmed as though it were a documentary where the characters are aware of the camera. Some characters are interviewed. Munch's diary is read as it was written, in the third person. And a narrator pronounces the chronology.

Beginning in a Protestant Christian home as a part of the middle class in Norway's capital city, Munch is surrounded by death, illness, and a social order that extorts and mistreats the lowest classes and their children. After losing his mother, he emerges into manhood and begins his rebellion with a group of bohemians who challenge every aspect of their culture. It is here that conflict arises between he and his father, but more strikingly it is where the great theme of his life's work begins: the threads that bond men and women together.

The series of failed relationships cast the learning and altogether rejected artist into a class all his own. He depicts the world in swirling colours, faces with pale and sickly complexions, and fades the sensory organs of his subjects where they meet their lovers.

Edvard Munch gains enormous popularity during his life while being lambasted by nearly all art critics across Europe. Pressing through all of this, Munch advances his new art form: visual psychology.

This is a masterpiece, unlike anything I have ever seen.


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