VOD film review: Eye of the Storm
Ivan | On 02, Mar 2021
Director: Anthony Baxter
Cast: James Morrison
Watch Eye of the Storm online in the UK: Modernfilms.com
Eye of the Storm is one of the films playing at the online Glasgow Film Festival. For the full line-up, plus how the festival works, see our guide here.
“My whole life has been mixed up with art and painting.” James Morrison passed away in 2020, not long before this documentary about him was completed. It’s only fitting that the Glasgow Film Festival should be a showcase for this endearing and warm portrait of an accomplished artist.
Morrison is a master at capturing landscapes on canvas, and they don’t come more vivid than those of Scotland, whether it’s life in Glasgow or the stormy seas off the coast. The artist also ventures all the way to the Arctic and journeyed to France. Anthony Baxter followed him over the last two years of his life, a time in which the artist found his eyesight failing – something that challenges him to attempt one final masterpiece and share the world as he saw it.
Baxter’s film does justice to Morrison’s eye for depicting life, often just letting the landscapes do the speaking for themselves. But Morrison is also an articulate subject himself, recounting his career and how he depicted the disappearing ice caps – it’s testament to how compelling a figure he is that Baxter only includes a sprinkling of other interviewees, while the influence and legacy of his own artworks can be traced through some beautiful animation by Catriona Black.
“The thought of not being able to pick up a brush terrifies me,” he admits partway through. Underneath it all is an honesty about grief, melancholy and the challenges of life, all held together by Morrison’s own charm and warmth – a beautiful, thoughtful tapestry of light and shade. He describes his work at one point as an argument with himself. This affectionate film will let that argument continue for decades to come.
Eye of the Storm is available to buy and rent online at Modernfilms.com.