Monday, June 8, 2015

Chagall-Malevich (2014) A Film by Aleksandr Mitta

"When treated conventionally, the artist biopic can be the domain for pedantic historical shading and subservient mise-en-scène. Veteran Russian filmmaker Aleksandr Mitta's answer to that challenge is to translate his subject's style so vehemently that the compulsion to inform and historicize becomes almost a distraction from the aesthetic acrobatics. Franco-Russian painter Marc Chagall, Chagall-Malevich's principal protagonist, was a Jewish modernist who responded to the doom and gloom of his epoch with brilliantly colored, whimsically composed canvases that blended expressionist, cubist, and abstract sensibilities. In attempting to simulate Chagall's work, Mitta whips up his own quirky jumble of techniques: conspicuously crude digital compositing, perpetual Dutch angles, sporadic animated flourishes, drastic chromatic swings, and a liberally applied cerulean vignette that surrounds the center of interest and lends those on the margins of the frame a ghastly aquarium-tank pallor." More at Slant Magazine.

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