Glasgow Film Festival Review: Eye of the Storm

While James Morrison may not be a familiar name to most, he has played an important role in post-war Scottish art. Indeed, the Glaswegian has often been credited by many as helping to rejuvenate landscape painting in Scotland. His career spanned over seven decades, beginning with tenements of his native Glasgow and ending with countryside of Angus, where he lived out the latter part of his life.  

Anthony Baxter (You’ve Been Trumped, You’ve Been Trumped Too), a fellow Montrosian, met the artist after the release of his first feature documentary, and the pair formed a bond. Eye of the Storm follows the painter through the last years of his life as he readies for what will prove to be his final exhibition. Using rare BBC archive footage and interviews with the man himself, we’re taken on a journey through his life, from an urban childhood to fading health in his autumn years.  

Eye of the Storm is a fitting tribute to a remarkable artists and unique character. Baxter weaves all the elements together beautifully, creating an insightful, visually innovative and entertaining film. This is enhanced by clever animation from Catriona Black, who brings events from his past to life, and a haunting soundtrack by Karine Polwart. Eye of the Storm is a quiet and gentle portrait of a man who painted nature in vivid hues.

Eye of the Storm premieres at Glasgow Film Festival and is released in virtual cinemas from 5 March.

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