Release Date: October 27th, 2006 (Quad Cinema and Lincoln Plaza Cinemas) by New Yorker Films.
Directed by Katharina Ott-Bernstein.
BASIC PREMISE: A documentary about Robert Wilson, an avant-garde theater director and artist.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Absolute Wilson provides plenty of information about Robert Wilson from his childhood days of stuttering to his adult career as an avant-garde theater director and artist during the 1960s and 70s. He overcame a few obstacles as a young man including his parents who weren’t particularly supportive of him, his stuttering, and coming out of the closet. His father thought that his homosexuality can be simply cured through therapy, but the therapist only further encouraged him to not ignore his innate feelings and to be himself. That encouragement seemed to fuel his individual artistic expression which made him into a fearless, groundbreaking artist. His famous work includes the performance piece Einstein on the Beach, which was certainly bizarre yet very successful—writer Susan Sontag claims to have watched it dozens of times. Director Katharina Ott-Bernstein includes interviews with his Einstein on the Beach composer Philip Glass as well as singer/songwriter Tom Waits, David Byrne and footage of author William S. Burroughs who all praise him, except for critic John Simon. The most fascinating scenes, though, besides the footage of Robert’s work, are when Robert bonds with a mentally disabled student at the Byrd Hoffman School of Byrds where he taught. This student, he claims, reminded him of himself when he was a stuttering child struggling to find his voice as an artist.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: It’s inspiring to observe that Robert Wilson has overcome so many obstacles as a young boy and found happiness within his little yet important niche in the world of theater.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: None.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 1
IN A NUTSHELL: Fascinating, informative and inspiring.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (1st Run)
The "A" Menu