Maalaren (1982)

Run Time - 90 min.  |   Countries - Sweden  |  
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In this poetic vision of a factory in which the workers appear to have their life-force drained by the dull, demanding routine of each day's work, the directors (Christina Olofson and Goeran du Rees) have hushed the normally strident voices of the disaffected and moved through their environment as though in slow-motion. The axis around which the story revolves is a young artist who works with the machines for his living and sketches his fellow workers for enjoyment -- sketches that his cohorts do not always appreciate. The quiet, somber artist changes when one of the workers collapses and dies on the job -- he starts sleeping with a woman who used to make fun of him (as though to vanquish her), he puts up all his canvasses in the dining hall during the night and despairs when his colleagues still belittle him, burning all his work as a consequence. His battle with creating art for its own sake versus obtaining the approval of his co-workers reaches a climax when he sneaks into the factory again and spends the night painting a large mural. This artistic breakthrough is challenged by a nightwatchman who catches him in the act.

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Keywords

artist, boredom, extramarital-affair, identity