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102. Eye Of The Storm; movie review

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Title : 102. Eye Of The Storm; movie review
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Cert 12
78 mins
BBFC advice: Contains infrequent strong language

"I am going to learn more about art when we are retired," I promised Mrs W, taking inspiration from James Morrison in Eye Of the Storm.
I cannot say that I was taken with every single one of the many works which were highlighted in Anthony Baxter's documentary but some were truly beautiful.
Morrison had a passion for the rugged edge of Scotland, especially as storms threatened.
They prompted us to long for the Highland coastline which we had been due to visit next month until the CoVid pandemic intervened.
Morrison was an artist of note from the 1950s until his death last year, exhibited many times in Glasgow and Edinburgh.
His works are owned by collectors as diverse as The Royal family and J.K.Rowling.
Eye Of The Storm is an appreciation of the artist rather than a warts-and-all biopic, containing both contemporary interviews and footage from past television appearances which stretch back to the 1960s.
Morrison was in his late 80s when Baxter spent two years compiling the film and at that time he was experiencing great frustration because he was losing his sight.
Consequently, while he continued painting, it was to satisfy his own passion rather than a wider audience.
Morrison makes clear his dismay at his predicament but overall is a gentle and appreciative soul who speaks highly of those around him and particularly his beloved Scottish coast.
He speaks with great fondness for his life and career and talks it through from his early days painting scenes of crumbling Glasgow tenements to teaching art students in Dundee.
He is modest in his achievement, so his art historian son weighs in to tell uninformed watchers such as me how important his dad has been in terms of Scottish landscape painters.
Like most art, Morrison's work will not be everyone's cup of tea - unusually, I found I was divided by each piece rather than his overall style.
But there is no doubt he is very popular and that was emphasised at the opening of the final exhibition he attended, months before his death.
I suspect, in common with many painters, his work may become more in demand in retrospect.

Reasons to watch: Thoughtful biopic and some wonderful scenery
Reasons to avoid: Goes a bit too deep into art for the layman.

Laughs: None
Jumps: None
Vomit: None
Nudity: None
Overall rating: 7.5/10

Did you know. James Morrison is exhibited across the world but you can buy his paintings for as little as £1,000 at auction.

The final word. Anthony Baxter: "I felt he was the perfect subject because he was willing to be filmed – which always helps – and he was willing to share with me the difficult period of his life when he was beginning to paint again despite his fading eyesight.” Glasgow Times

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