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MAGNUS Film Review

Magnus the Documentary

I was invited to a private screening of the new documentary Magnus directed by Benjamin Ree, which is being released in UK theatres pretty much on the day you receive the magazine. It may be possible to find it at cinemas in the bigger cities. For everyone else, we expect to take delivery of the DVD before Christmas.

I found the 78-minute story quite touching. There was a lot of material from Magnus’s early life that looked like it had been shot in Super 8 and was no less engaging for that. It looks like family home video and a lot of it is narrated by Magnus’s father Henrik.

Early on we see Magnus crying as he explains that he is bullied at school and at end we hear his sister exclaiming that had anyone ever said that Magnus would ever be involved in anything to do with fashion, she would never have believed it. We see some footage of Magnus strutting his stuff for G-Star RAW with actress and model Liv Tyler.

There is an entertaining interlude covering Magnus’s battle with Kasparov when he had the champ in difficulties in the first game of a two-game rapid match. Garry puts on the full range of facial expressions and when the little Magnus plays a move, looks bored and then walks off to leave Garry to it, I laughed out loud.

There are interviews with Frederic Friedel of ChessBase, Vishy Anand and Garry Kasparov, which are both enjoyable and enlightening, although the narrative put forward of Anand being almost dependent on computer preparation was emphasised too much and is an attempt to place the 2013 world title match in India, where Carlsen became champion, in some kind of competitive context. That’s the only part of the documentary that I found weak. Overall, I highly recommended it.

4 stars **** and a couple of moons



City Cinema From:
London Picturehouse CENTRAL 25/11/2016
Bloomsbury Curzon (Berthaa Dochouse) 25/11/2016
Brentford Watermans 25/11/2016
Glasgow Film Theatre 30/11/2016
Dublin IFI 25/11/2016



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Malcolm Pein

Malcolm Pein

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