MUNCH PETER WATKINS
In February this year, the film "Edvard Munch" (1974), Peter Watkins, was restored in France, came out on DVD by Eureka and "Cahiers du Cinema" dedicated to him a dossier.
Munch, author of the famous painting "The Scream" had a life obstinately devoted to painting. Life of suffering and loneliness, between Christiana (now Oslo), Berlin and Paris. Life scarred by an unhappy love affair, and, in due course by a total lack of recognition, both critical or the public. Life that Watkins, a second hybrid method, which he pioneered the film, describes with great clarity of images and effects.
The arrival of Peter Watkins was how he referred in his interview in the same issue a matter of circumstance. Your involvement with the theater had begun at school "where I was very unhappy." Later passed by a company of Dramatic Art and then the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. Journey interrupted by his call to military service. "My life has changed. Someone loaned me a camera 8mm. I was fascinated by the object. I started working with amateur actors who had done theater. It was not the way What worried me, was to film theater only. It was sometime after that the way interested me. My apprenticeship was typical of the generation of the 1950s. I worked on a documentary production house. For 3 years I was assistant editor before becoming editor. I learned from people who worked on the famous Crownfilm Unit, attached to the Ministry of Information. They were traditional documentaries, but serious, with social concerns ... In England, 1956 and 1962, there was a real film support amateur, Amateur Film Movement. There was a magazine, Amateur Cine World, and also a major tournament. The winners spent one year at the National Film Theatre London. They were called "Oscars amateurs." A small statue, by the way more beautiful than the original. Many filmmakers have made their first films in these conditions. And sometimes even more ambitious productions in 16mm with sound ... this world is gone. At that time, the BBC spreading every year the winning films. Passed mine, and was so in 1963 I got this beautiful house. "
Later in the same interview, the purpose of calling him a" fake documentary "he replied." You can not reduce the claimed genus to a single style .. Amazing, these two terms "documentary" that's stupid, but also "false"! I was a young trying to create a connection with the crowd escaping the manipulations of Hollywood. He had seen enough movies, and thought it was possible to do something else. I was already aware of the power of television. And I was touched by the photographs of the survey published in Budapest in 1956 Paris-Match, which gave rise to "Forgotten Faces" in 1960. It is an amateur film, which blends many things and today I feel a bit traditional. But early efforts to contain another presentation of the facts. With "Culloden" and "The Bomb", 3 or 4 years later, was still a demand: involving the public representing reality without the aid of fiction. I wanted to make a film that puts the film in question, and that's what I did. In "The Bomb", there is, indeed, passages where the public is put in a fake reality, but there are also interviews with real people who repeat statements by members of the establishment of the Church in particular, in favor of nuclear weapons. Where is reality in the movie? On the one hand in the interviews that have every appearance of being false but that the quotes are accurate. The other scenes that are not true at all. Which is more real? When confronted with this, the word reality loses all meaning. Our world is a reality or a nightmare.? All articles only think about me putting myself in a label instead of talking in that really matters, the complicity of the media ... But they always disturb. "
About Munch ..." says: "The film came in the winter of 68 or 69 in spring, when I was invited by the University of Oslo. The Munch Museum spreading "The Bomb" a room where the acoustics were terrible. I discovered the works during the session. I had never heard of this painter. I was very touched by those pictures. He was accompanied by a Norwegian writer who had contacts in television. I told him as soon as absolutely had to make a movie about Munch. I remember a large picture of the death of his sister Sofia surrounded by family, painted 20 years after his death from tuberculosis. Where this stunning blend of past and present. Next to a man whose traits do not see, is Inge, the sister of the dead, we look into the eyes. This look, this tragedy, this cutie ... I've never seen anything like it. The next day was to take the plane to Stockholm to complete the assembly of "Gladiators." But I made an outburst that day by Norwegian TV. Iff Juula responsible for the documentaries that had absolutely make this film. At that time my name was well known because of The Bomb. " He could not turn down brutally. But they were very reluctant, in particular a specialist Munch. There was no mention ever of life private Munch. In a sense he was a god. but the Norwegians thought he was completely crazy, it was all contradictory. It took four years, was a department head of the Swedish television that the Norwegians got the permission to do the film. After much confusion could do it in 1973. "
asked whether the choice of techniques has an educational function Watkins said:" The cinema and education ... I have had so many problems with teachers of cinema. One day he spoke with on the war. After some time he told me: "Now to the creative aspect" (Sigh) But as to assert that politics has nothing to do with the true creative process? It's so stupid and dangerous. Today, the result is the docility of the public for the audiovisual sector. The "media" are solely responsible, it is also the legacy of the education system. Place the film on a pedestal, it is a theater church. There is not a reflection on the uniform - on the way it falls upon the public. In France, as everywhere, the cinema, even through the most beautiful films, is complicit in this manipulation. "
Moreover, the film is distributed by a cooperative," Co-errance. "It is based on following principles: 1
Confiisco refusal of the film by large distributors. A subscription was launched to the public to ensure that independence.
2nd Educational, artistic and political. There is no accompanying exhibition. Integrated Media in Crisis Tour, named not without irony with the title of a pamphlet published by Editions Homnisphères, projections of Munch ... " in association with the scouts, bind the viewer to conduct a review. Writing workshops, exhibitions related to the paintings by Norwegian artist, organization of debates. Community experiences briefly prolonged the release of other Watkins works in room and on DVD. From now on, the utopias of the late Renoir 30 are here. Munch ... est a nous. " At least for the French.