Director Andres Veiel crafts a thorough portrait of “the hero of his youth”, the controversial German artist Joseph Beuys, with this slightly overlong documentary. He does so by plunging the audience head-first into Beuys’ artwork and performance art with previously unreleased footage, which includes the silent grand piano with the thermometer resting on top of a blackboard, the infamous ‘7,000 Oaks’ project, and the dead rabbit he puppeteers about a cubicle. While the archival footage is impressive, Veiel articulates a slightly by-the-book experience, and you can’t help but feel the fascinating national treasure demanded a less familiar and more audacious treatment. Still, a competent effort that will please art fans and novices alike.
Beuys | Directed by Andres Veiel (Germany, 2017). Starts May 18.
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