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'Hilma' review: Lasse Hallström vividly portrays the pain and ecstasy of a visionary artist

Like most art lovers, the prolific filmmaker Lasse Hallström has never heard of the prolific painter Hilma af Klint (1862-1944) Until recently. Af Klint was neglected, discouraged, marginalized and neglected all her life, but except for a four-year period, she never stopped creating. She took painting beyond figurative still lifes and landscapes into the uncharted realm of abstraction, the mantle of this innovative leap announced by Wassily Kandinsky a few years earlier. According to her instructions, her works were stored for 20 years after her death and none of them were available for sale .

Starting with the landmark 1283373, which is for groundbreaking artists (no market )Discover*) presents an exhibition that wows museum-goers in Stockholm before traveling to seven other European cities and New York. Halina Dyrschka’s 1283373 movie Beyond the Visible is the first feature-length documentary about af Klint, exploring the breadth and depth of her legacy from a revisionist art historical perspective that is simply current. In Hilma, Hallström delves into fiery and sometimes messy personal stories and celebrates the bizarre fusion of nature and spiritual mystery in an appropriately captivating, immersive way, she.


Bottom line

Spiritual and sensual.

Venue: Palm Springs International Film Festival (Modern Masters)Actor: Lena Olin, Tora Hallström, Catherine Chalk, Jazzy de Lisser, Lily Cole, Rebecca Calder, Maeve Dermody, Anna Björk, Martin Wallström, Tom Wlaschiha Director and screenwriter: Lasse Hallström 1 hour 20 minutes

Drama in English (Hallström couldn’t find the funds to make a film about his fellow Swedes in their native language ), which had its North American premiere at the Palm Springs Festival and is scheduled for a U.S. release in April by Juno Films, looks destined to be a rapturous art house hit.

I can’t tell when I first became aware of af Klint’s work – perhaps the mood was set in Olivier Assayas’s Personal Shopper — but I do remember the sense of approval her vibrant abstract images elicited, a reconnection, click-click-click-click-deadline, in the language of transcendence and timelessness. Clint’s wife, actor Lena Olin, pointed Clint’s path to writer-director Hallström, and the film they co-produced is a family business with the couple’s daughter Tora Hallström at its heart Impressive debut. (It’s also a promising makeover; as a teenager, she briefly appeared in her father’s visage twice, but until Hilma, she kept on Work Finance.)

A protagonist for decades, Tora Hallström embodies the perennially observed outsider, whether in her family, school, society, or in areas that matter—and at large. Business – Fine Arts. (It’s refreshing that her aging is shown subtly rather than hypervisually accentuated like so many films, but at key narrative points the passage of the years can be made clearer.) Tora brings the role to life. Here comes a simple body and just the right amount of willfulness. vitality. The film ends with a powerful scene of Olin as the older Hilma, who, as she has been in her life, is shut out by the people of status and money. To them, she was an incomprehensible “witch” who, despite the deep weariness in her eyes, also had an unabashed longing as she admired the austere beauty of the trees that lined city streets.

Hallström traces Hilma’s birth as an iconoclastic artist to the childhood death of her beloved sister (Emmi Tjernström). Together they explore the island of Adelsö, where their naval family holds ancestral lands (if not a lot of money) and noble names. For Hilma, their investigations of the natural world and her paintings of flowers and shells are matters of science, not decoration. “Art is a tool in my studies,” she told the skeptical male committee that interviewed her for admission to the art college, where female students must use a separate entrance at the back of the building.

She is determined to draw a map of the world, both physical and unseen. Her awareness of these two realities comes alive in the film, thanks to Ragna Jorming’s expressive cinematography, Jon Ekstrand’s stirring soundtrack, the sensitive pulse of Dino Jonsäter’s editing, and the production design of Catharina Nyqvist Ehrnrooth and Flore Vauvillé A rich, uplifting palette of outfits. All of this is lovingly orchestrated by Hallström and, remarkably, without a hint of sentimentality. The focus is on first-hand experience, revelations and inventions, and the inner strength of a woman who stays true to herself.

The director’s script devotes a lot of time to De Fem (The Five), Hilma’s group with four other women she met in art school: psychic Sigrid Hedman (Maeve Dermody) , Cornelia Cederberg (Rebecca Calder), Mathilda Nilsson (Lily Cole) and Anna Cassel (Catherine Chalk). Together they studied Theosophy and Spiritualism, which were in vogue at the time, rather than deviant as they are today. Hallström treats these areas of research with respect and wonder. The women collectively create art as they experiment with automatic writing via tablet, with Hilma at the helm guided by spirits. Ana has enough family money to finance Hilma’s project – something that is very urgent for her, and she is sure it is for the whole world. It can be speculated that Ana was not only Hilma’s benefactor but also her lover, and their sensual connection is subtly conveyed in one of their first scenes together, where they visit the tailor’s shop, where the interior The design seems to shine with a marriage of luxury and utility

When Hilma’s mother (Anna Björk), as rebellious as her daughter, needs a nurse, Anna pays for it, only to find The woman hired is Thomasine (Jazzy de Lisser) who is replacing her affections for Hilma. Credited to Hallström and the two main performers, Hilma

embraces complexity and does nothing for pedestals or hero worship. Still, the ups and downs of Anna and Hilma’s relationship, with jealousy, pauses and starts, become repetitive and tiresome halfway through the film. It’s obvious that these sequences have to convey not only Hilma’s demanding capriciousness but also her artistic stagnation, but the real engine of the story, Hilma’s creativity, feels lost in the melodrama.

For all her self-confidence, Hilma succumbs to the painful luxury of the Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner. A brilliant historical figure, played by an utterly defiant Tom Wlaschiha, the mystic she considers above all else, even when she pleads with him to support her art and he responds with normative notions After what is art and why her work is substandard.

But it wasn’t all male education for Hilma; in a wonderfully awkward encounter with Edvard Munch (Paulius Markevicius) at his painting exhibition, he offered encouragement, however general , no matter how inspired her reaction to one of his paintings was. Relying on the generosity of others, Hilma created a kind of utopia, an island studio where she could make large-scale paintings of the temples she envisioned. Guided by spirits and thwarted by the art world, she finds a way to triumph, albeit at great cost, while Hilma

embraces in ecstasy Reality.

Full credits

Venue: Palm Springs International Film Festival (Modern Masters)

Distributor: Juno Films

Production company: Viaplay Studios

Cast: Lena Au Lin, Tora Hallstrom, Catherine Chalke, Jez DeLiser, Lily Cole, Rebecca Calder, Maeve Dermody, Anna Bjork, Martin Waugh Erström, Tom Wlaschiha, Emmi Tjernström, Jens Hultén, Adam Lundgren, Paulius Markevicius, Justinas Jankevicius
Director and screenwriter: Lasse Hallström Producer: Helena Danielsson, Lasse Hallström , Sigurjón Sighvatsson Executive Producer: Josephine Genetay

Director of Photography: Ragna Jorming

Production Designer: Catharina Nyqvist Ehrnrooth Costume Designer: Flore Vauvillé

Edit: Dino Jonsäter Composer: Jon Ekstrand Casting Director: Des Ham ilton, Sophie Pearson 1 hour1862 minutes THR Newsletter

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