The Diaries of Vaslav Nijinsky (2002)
Average Rating: 6/10
Reviews Counted: 30
Fresh: 18 | Rotten: 12
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Average Rating: 6.3/10
Critic Reviews: 12
Fresh: 8 | Rotten: 4
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 536
To the degree that one artist can bring out the best in another, Nijinsky is an inspired masterpiece. Australian director Paul Cox has not fashioned a biography of Russian ballet dancer Vaslav Nijinsky (1880-1950), nor is this a comprehensive survey of Nijinsky's influential works. Instead, Cox ventures deeply into Nijinsky's thoughts and emotions as expressed in diaries begun in 1919, just as the once world-famous dancer began his descent into... insanity? The question is valid, for what we
May 29, 2002 Limited
Dec 3, 2002
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Certainly no biopic, Nijinsky is short on facts, but long on expression.
Just the labour involved in creating the layered richness of the imagery in this chiaroscuro of madness and light is astonishing.
Those who are only mildly curious, I fear, will be put to sleep or bewildered by the artsy and often pointless visuals.
Has its share of arresting images.
It is not a mass-market entertainment but an uncompromising attempt by one artist to think about another.
A gift to anyone who loves both dance and cinema
.. this unorthodox documentary works for those who have a sensitivity to the artist and to his struggles against such a cold and indifferent world.
There is a beautiful, aching sadness to it all. Paul Cox needed to show it. It is up to you to decide if you need to see it.
Though Nijinsky's words grow increasingly disturbed, the film maintains a beguiling serenity and poise that make it accessible for a non-narrative feature.
Cox is far more concerned with aggrandizing madness, not the man, and the results might drive you crazy.
Jacobi, the most fluent of actors, is given relatively dry material from Nijinsky's writings to perform, and the visuals, even erotically frank ones, become dullingly repetitive.
The film would work much better as a video installation in a museum, where viewers would be free to leave. Immediately.
Nijinsky says, 'I know how to suffer' and if you see this film you'll know too.
Well-nigh unendurable...though the picture strains to become cinematic poetry, it remains depressingly prosaic and dull.
Cox creates a fluid and mesmerizing sequence of images to match the words of Nijinsky's diaries.
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