Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Angel Applicant (2023) SXSW 2023

Writer director and subject Ken August Meyer takes us into his obsession with artist Paul Klee, who's scleroderma matched his own.

I was hooked almost instantly. I had gone into the film thinking it was going to be typical art documentary and instead I found my expectations exploded as the film became a portrait of the director, Klee, the disease, life, philosophy and universe. This is a film that transcends definition to be something so much more.

I absolutely love this film. What I love is that Meyer pulls us in from the opening frame, sits us down serves us tea and cookies and then acts like a great raconteur and explains things to us. We get to know about all sorts of subjects, but not only as cold facts, but as living breathing part of his life. Meyer explains to us what Klee means to him and why he painted the way he did. This isn't a cold recounting of facts but the story of life as its being lived. We understand where the changes came from in Klee's art. More importantly, by connecting everything up to his own struggles Meyer shows us how he views his world. A diagnosis that his lungs are the sort of lungs a 146 year old man has him celebrating his 146th birthday. It sounds  corny but its humbling and moving.

By giving us his view of the world, and of Klee Meyer opens doors for us to see the world differently. He gives us ways to connect up the various part of life. Its a grand achievement.

Highly recommended.

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