Cinema of the Stars with Benedict Cumberbatch and Claire Foy: Masters of Electro Culture

The cats from Louis Wayne’s recent work look like “Electrocats,” not Disney’s cute “Aristocats” or the lovable YouTube cats. As if their tails had entered the cavity. This is what the creatures look like with their wide eyes and puffy fur. frankly dope.

or psychotic. The artist, who died in 1939, suffered from schizophrenia for a long time when he was in psychiatry, was poor and had a thick beard, which made him make his strongest works. Cats and electricity fascinated Wayne. Except that his concept of electric charge doesn’t come from a physics textbook, as Will Sharp’s “Louis Wayne’s Wondrous World” in the biography of hallucinatory dreams explains.

Benedict Cumberbatch knows snot

The “Mad Artist” is as popular in cinema as “The Mad Scientist”. No British actor is so skilled at portraying the eccentric and genius as Benedict Cumberbatch, who portrays Louis Wayne in long flashbacks from his twenties right into his old age.

Cumberbatch, who was recently nominated for an Academy Award for “The Power of the Dog,” throws himself into Wain’s quirks with glee and wit, but also makes a clear psychological abyss, to which Wain dedicates horrific scenes in a painted memoir.

Born in 1860, Louis Wayne was best known as a cat painter before the turn of the century. In Illustrated London News, the painter, illustrator and cartoonist begins by making animals the heroes of his images. Cats acclimatize to humans, play cricket, drink tea, ride bikes, or get drunk around the waterfront. Not always nice, but sometimes with a touch critical of society.

Painter Louis Wayne (Benedict Cumberbatch) was considered an eccentric.Photo: Jaap Boytendyk/StudioCanal

Toby Jones plays the eccentric publisher Sir William Ingram, who becomes Wain’s mentor. “Louis Wayne invented a style for cats, a community for cats, and a whole world for cats,” which initially gets the radio sound excited. “Happy and Richer,” he made the world. The voice belongs to writer H.G. Wells (Nick Cave in cameo), who has been a fan of Wain and his supporters as the inventor of the fantastic worlds of science fiction.

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The Victorian era, as an era of harsh class differences and a visionary technological awakening, provides the backdrop against which Wayne’s life story has been set. It is characterized by material difficulties, which also affect his five sisters and wife Emily Richardson (Claire Foy).


The film is dedicated to this tragic love story — as a former nanny and elderly person, she is an inappropriate part and dies of cancer a few years after the wedding — and to Wayne’s altered mental state, she hardly fits as an artist portrait. Not even as a portrait of a brilliant caretaker who, while trying to “quell the chaos in his head through busyness,” as narrator Olivia Colman puts it in the original version, composes and patents an opera.

[“Die wundersame Welt des Louis Wain” läuft in zehn Berliner Kinos (auch OmU).]

In addition, fairy-tale-like places, almost painted in autumn, winter and summer, landscapes and interiors bathed in a perpetual golden light, are very emotional and impressive. There is also very little art to see, not to mention Wain’s artistic working and exploration methods. Director and screenwriter Sharp describes him as a crazy fast animator who becomes a cat painter through black and white cats.

Cat Peter runs to him and Emily and salutes the last weeks of their lives. “The world is beautiful,” Emily insists even on her deathbed and Louis dedicates his future role as an artist: “You are the prism through which the ray of life is refracted.”

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