Robert M. Young and David Grubin’s haunting documentary “William Kurelek’s The Maze” is a film that was literally forty years in the making. Begun in 1969, the cinematic biography of Canadian artist William Kurelek was finally completed after lost footage was recovered.
The film’s titular work is a symbolic painting of the interior of the artist’s skull. Details such as scientists examining a body in a test tube or a cat-o’-nine-tails which serves as a tongue make the viewer wonder what sort of life experiences could inspire such images. Young and Grubin decode the painting’s disturbing imagery through animation and interviews with the Kurelek family. The answers involve a father who fetishized material success and mental breakdown necessitating electroshock treatment.
The film chronicles Kurelek’s search for tranquility through his art and life. Yet ironically even when he finds a measure of peace, the shadow of past miseries lurks underneath his placid surface.
Peter Wong, BeyondChron
The Maze will be shown on Oct 12 at 7.15PM and Oct 15 at 5.15PM.