© 2023 by David Grubin Productions. 

Art and Poetry

The Maze

Awards:
Mill Valley Film Festival

Denver Film Festival

This series welcomes viewers into the experience of poetry, helping them to discover that words retain the power to name things honestly, to touch the human spirit, and to enrich life.

Houghton Mifflin

One hour
1972

“Robert M. Young and David Grubin’s haunting documentary William Kurelek’s The Maze is a film that was literally forty years in the making. Begun in 1969, the cinematic biography of Canadian artist William Kurelek was finally completed after lost footage was recovered. The film’s titular work is a symbolic painting of the interior of the artist’s skull. Details such as scientists examining a body in a test tube or a cat-o’-nine-tails which serves as a tongue make the viewer wonder what sort of life experiences could inspire such images. Young and Grubin decode the painting’s disturbing imagery through animation and interviews with the Kurelek family. The answers involve a father who fetishized material success and mental breakdown necessitating electroshock treatment. The film chronicles Kurelek’s search for tranquility through his art and life. Yet ironically even when he finds a measure of peace, the shadow of past miseries lurks underneath his placid surface.” 


-BeyondChron