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In the late 1940s and '50s Mark Rothko (1903-70) was one of the leading American artists who created wall-scale abstract paintings that filled the viewer's field of vision and became a form of environment. Rothko spoke of wanting the spectator to feel inside the pictorial space, enveloped in his canvases' luminous color and apparitional surfaces. Filmed on both sides of the Atlantic, this documentary, chronicling Rothko's life and charting the development of his work, fills the screen with his softly defined, rectangular clouds of color stacked symmetrically on top of one another: a visual language conceived to evoke elemental emotions with maximum poignancy.