Edvard Munch

Director: Peter Watkins
Year Released: 1974
Rating: 3.0

Unique pseudo-documentary of the life of tormented Norwegian painter Edvard Munch, with the non-professional actors 'interviewed' in character about their lives, and with dramatized pieces of Munch's life accompanied by voice over by Watkins (who reads from Munch's diary). I'm not so sure I 'like' this film as much as appreciate what Watkins is trying to do - his tendency to repeat already shown pieces over and over again becomes extremely irritating and the 'interviews' smack of pretension - but for being as long and as solemn as the picture is, it isn't oppressive viewing, and the close-ups of the paintings/etchings being worked on are a treat for art aficionados. The grainy, shaky hand-held photography and rapid cutting - one of Watkins' trademarks - grant it an absorbing kind of energy.