Portrait of a Young Man in Three Movements (1931)


Number of Times Seen – 1 (25 Mar 2020)

Brief Synopsis – Documentary that tries to show the thoughts and wishes of man solely via moving pictures.

My Take on it – This is a film that I came across by accident while seeking out new films to watch from the 1930’s in order to expand my own personal film knowledge of that era.

The title of the film sounded quite intriguing and I had hope that the story would follow.

This is a documentary that shows the power of moving pictures at a time when most of the world knew very little about that medium, but unfortunately, they fail to give us any real structure to this story that would help make it more enjoyable.

I’m quite impressed that such a film was conceived of back in the 1930’s and it is able to show some stunning footage which says so much about the film makers and how visionary he truly was about the art of moving pictures.

Unfortunately tho, this could have been much shorter because even at just a tad under an hour it’s extremely boring to watch because there is no solid narrative or even characters for that matter besides the abstract pictures of nature.

In some ways this reminds me of parts of The Tree of Life (2011) in the way that they try and tell an existential story via pictures of nature but the fact that this is in black and white makes it even less enjoyable to watch than that Malick film because at least there the colors add to things a bit and make it less monotonous than what they achieve here.

This is truly a wasted opportunity to do something more…

Bottom Line – Great idea that is able to show the wonders of film but is much too abstract. The fact that a film like this was made back in the 30’s says so much about the film maker and the way that he sees the art of moving pictures. The story is extremely abstract and existential and makes very little sense because there is no real narrative at all which makes it nice to look at yet extremely boring because nothing of interest happens throughout.  Such a wasted opportunity.

Rating – Razzie Worthy (2/10)

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