DIFF student review – Light and Dark: Journey into the mind of Norman Catherine

2013-07-25 17:48

City Press is proud to host student reviews of the films on offer at the Durban International Film Festival. The students are postgraduates from the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Culture, Communication and Media Studies department.

Light and Dark is a 45-minute visual extravaganza on the artwork of the world-renowned South African artist Norman Catherine. As a child he was inspired by a picture of Picasso. His talent was later discovered by gallerist Linda Givon.

The central theme of the film is how apartheid has shaped South Africa’s history and how that period of time influenced the artwork of Catherine. In the documentary, Catherine states: “I have a sense of humour, if people get upset, they are conservative.” The documentary is a journey into the mind of the artist and his interpretation of his times.

The artwork, at first glance, is absurd, surreal and strange, but undoubtedly intriguing. He simply portrays reality in a surreal way through monsters and other imaginative creations. His art confronts his personal demons and national demons during apartheid.

The interviews throughout the documentary give the viewer an overall understanding of the persona of Norman as some viewers may not be able to relate to him through his artwork.

The camera shots and soundtrack all work to enhance the viewers’ experience of the film and hold the attention of the viewer.

Anyone who appreciates art and creativity will find this documentary fascinating.

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