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Edvard Munch [DVD] [1976] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

14 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Language: English, French, Norwegian
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000E1NX90
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 279,118 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. C. Burns on 30 Oct. 2002
Format: VHS Tape
The is one of the most moving, experimental films I have seen.
Peter Watkins' political understanding of the times and his
compassion for the struggling, alientated artist is superb. He
has a unique method of linking the present to the painter's
traumatic past, namely the deaths of his mother and sister from
tuberculosis, when he was a boy. The camerawork and close-ups of
individual faces are excellent. Munch's grief, when he loses the
woman he loves, leads to his best works and a premature death.
No other director has made a film about the inner and outer
worlds of the artist as well as this. I highly recommend the
film. Ingmar Bergman described it as 'a work of genius.'
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Jan Mecir on 7 Dec. 2011
Format: DVD
This was the first subtitled film i ever saw; back in 1977 or 78 i think it was. I remember watching on BBC2 till about 2 in the morning and teeing my dad off (cus he needed me to go to bed for some reason)

It obviously made a big impression; soon after I was off to Birmingham Arts Centre to see films by Werner Herzog and Ingmar Bergman et al. I'd realized there was a wonderful world of film out there that actually included more of the world than that giving by yer usual English speaking fodder. And that world was complex, as complex as i felt i wanted to be. And it felt like i was joining a culture of "culture" - watching these obscure cult art house films of the 70's. A vital, and necessary, part of my "sentimental" education these cult films were.

So would this film be living up to my expectations 30+ years on? Yes it would. It did. I was pulled right in, was there as my younger self once again feeling absorbed into the cultural milieu of late 19th century boho intellectuals; various artists, writers, poets, philosophers, all agonizing and dying in their 30's and 40's of consumptive angst etc.

The most angsty and agonized of them all of course is Edvard. Has trouble with the ladies. Falling in love with liberal proto-feminists who mostly want a bit of extra-marital. A gamut of repressed feelings; which have to get released onto canvas, this inner tumult expressed as paint.

It was all marvelous meaty melancholy for my 19 year old inexperienced untutored self to feast on, be indulged by. The unfulfilled sexual desire, the emotional turmoil, echoing, exaggerating, expressing, what lay latently aching but unexpressed inside me. I was bedazzled, kind of bewildered, probably lost inside this sensually poeticized found world. Mesmerized.

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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By BAEL on 19 Oct. 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
In depicting the many aspects that make up the life of Edvard Munch, Peter Watkins's film delves deep into Munch's life, from his early childhood, right to his first major recognition as an artist, taking in his family, friends, foes, lovers and inspiration as well as the time in which he lived. This is a deep and rich exploration of one of the defining artist of the 19th and 2oth century.

When trying to describe Edvard Munch, it's hard to summarise what genre the film falls into? The narrative and techniques often feels like a docu-drama, with narration peppers the film with facts and descriptions of the time and culture, but also, large amounts of the film are more like a conventional Biopic, this sounds like an awkward mix, but it gives this film a depth and atmosphere unique in cinema. The use of non actors is a great decision by the director Peter Watkins, it gives the characters an awkwardness that feels believable, people hesitate before they speak, and an intimate moment feels genuine and comes across as the physical discovery between people who are strangers. Apparently the actors were allowed to express their own feelings and opinions during scenes, but none of the performances are clumsy or unbelievable, and the quality of the cast is one of the films defining qualities.

The attention to detail regarding life in 1890's Norway is wonderful, everything feels authentic and unforced, often when watching the film you can almost feel the cold and draft running through Munch's home, the characters look constantly pale and uncomfortable, and you can imagine an upbringing like this would produce a character like Munch.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By technoguy VINE VOICE on 2 Jun. 2009
Format: DVD
The film is both historic and subjective in it's treatment by the film maker Peter Watkins.He breaks down the old rigid hierarchies of film making used in tv,sitcom,documentary,also in films depicting the lives and works of major artists.This film is also like a mirror he holds up to his own life and struggles and rejection by his own society. Truly remarkable in that it is mounted like a documentary(with recreations of course)of the creative process,how Munch's personal life affected his art and how the changes in society also impinge.We get the influence of his personal memories in flash back.We get his family or friends staring out at us or answering questions about their attitudes to Munch or their views on sexuality.He utilises a dialectical process between sound layers and montages of image.We see his relationships with women developing-anguish,reticence,anger,longing and how they are depicted in his art.The two major paintings that are shown are The Sick Child(showing him attacking and slashing at the canvas) and The Scream with a few Vampires and The Dance of Life in between.Also the various techniques like etching and wood-cutting that he translates his paintings into.We see the various receptions of his work in Scandinavia and Germany.The most remarkable facts are Watkin's use of non-actors and how he came to make this film of 3.5 hrs.running time in Norway using only local technicians and people who only spoke Norwegian.This is a monumental piece of artistry and deserves to be better known and distributed.This is sensitive craftsmanship.

Munch was in reaction to the bourgeois,rigid,hypocritical morality of Christiana as was Knut Hamsun,giving himself over to the subjectivism,moods,feelings,images of one's inner self,in the absence(qua Neitschze) of God.
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