Edvard Munch (film)

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Edvard Munch
EdvardMunch.jpg
DVD cover
Directed by Peter Watkins
Written by Peter Watkins
Starring Geir Westby
Gro Fraas
Narrated by Peter Watkins
Cinematography Odd Geir Sæther
Edited by Peter Watkins
Release date(s) 1974
Running time 210 min. / 174 min. (USA)
Country Sweden / Norway
Language English/ Norwegian

Edvard Munch (Norwegian pronunciation: [ˈmʉŋk]) is a 1974 biographical film about the Norwegian Expressionist painter Edvard Munch, written and directed by Peter Watkins. It was originally created as a three-part miniseries co-produced by the Norwegian and Swedish state television networks NRK and SVT, but subsequently gained an American theatrical release in a three-hour version in 1976. The film covers about thirty years of Munch's life, focusing on the influences that shaped his art, particularly the prevalence of disease and death in his family and his youthful affair with a married woman. The film was screened at the 1976 Cannes Film Festival, but wasn't entered into the main competition.[1]

Style[edit]

Like Watkins' other films, Edvard Munch uses a docudrama approach; scenes from Munch's life are re-enacted by a large cast (mostly Norwegian non-professional actors), but there is also a voiceover narration by Watkins, and there are moments when the characters speak directly to camera, as if being interviewed about their own lives or their opinions of Munch. Some of the dialogue was improvised by the cast, especially in the interview segments. To convey the hostile response Munch's work often received during his lifetime, Watkins recruited Norwegians who genuinely disliked the paintings.[citation needed]

Distribution and responses[edit]

After its initial broadcast, the film was briefly an international success[citation needed] but was not widely available for many years afterward. Watkins has said that network officials tried to suppress its distribution, and tried to bar it from competition in the Cannes Film Festival, because they disapproved of its use of non-professional actors and anachronistic dialogue.[citation needed] After NRK relinquished rights to the film in 2002, it gained a wider international release.

Ingmar Bergman, the great Swedish filmmaker, called the film a "work of genius".[citation needed]

Cast[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Edvard Munch". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-05-10. 

External links[edit]