Inspired by the current polling going on at Wonders in the Dark (which for my money is the best movie blog site on the web right now) concerning the Best Films of the 1970’s, I decided to catch up on some of the great films from that decade I had yet to see. One thing led to another, and there I was with the obscure Edvard Munch sitting atop my Netflix queue. Directed by renowned forefather of the docudrama, Britian’s Peter Watkins, this complex and nearly four hour long biopic of Norwegian post-Impressionist painter Edvard Munch was originally made as a miniseries for Norwegian/Swedish TV in 1974. It was released theatrically around the world in 1976 and was recently done up as a two-disc special edition on DVD. I watched it in those two parts over the course of two nights and was completely transfixed.
Brazenly presented in the style of a documentary, Watkins’ film begs you to feel as if his cameras were literally there from “moment one” in Munch’s childhood during the late 1800’s all they way up through the abrupt close of the film half way through his life around 1910. Continue reading