Coming to theatres today, Friday, November 18: MAGNUS
Benjamin Ree’s portrait of the “Mozart of chess” debuted at Tribeca this Spring. Screenings followed at Munich, Traverse City, Moscow, Zurich, Vancouver, and the Hamptons, among other events.
Even as a young boy, Magnus Carlsen was more at home lost in thoughts than engaging in more physical pursuits. Encouraged by his supportive parents and sisters, he took naturally to chess, and soon emerged as a naturally gifted, intuitive prodigy. Ree follows Magnus, now in his early 20s, as he is on the cusp of fulfilling his lifelong dream of competing for the World Championship in 2013. The perspective of the introverted young master is broadened considerably through interviews with his family, particularly his father, and home video and other archival footage that shows Magnus’ rise through the world of competitive chess. The crux of the film, however, comes in surprisingly tense game play in both the qualifying competition and then his face-off with the reigning world champion, Viswanathan Anand – a feat for such a cerebral and individual game, and effective not only for viewers already well-versed in chess.