Recently, I've become aware that certain films are able to transcend the medium by being completely self-assured in their atmospheres…
The Loneliest Planet
A local guide takes a young couple through a twisted backpacking trip across the Georgian wilderness.
Nothing happens for an hour. Then one thing happens and someone makes a knee jerk reaction. Then one no one talks about either the thing that happened or the the reaction to what happened. Hard to say since no one's talking. Then nothing happens for another hour until there's an awkward moment. Then nothing happens at the end. I was riveted.
[reviewed from AFI 2011]
Second go. Feared I might find the first half a little get-to-the-Incident enervating this time, but Loktev has an uncanny knack—also on display in Day Night Day Night—for making the eventless eventful, mostly via attention to arresting details that are unusual without being "quirky." (I was about to note that the "chimpanzee" headstand arguably crosses that line, but then suddenly suspected that that's an actual alternative to e.g. "Mississippi" somewhere or other, and sure enough. Headstand itself's still a bit cute, though.) And I remain in awe of the high-wire act that constitutes the aftermath, in which any and all discussion of what happened gets postponed until after the credits roll—a stunt that only works…
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
It wasn't until the closing credits that I had any idea this was based on a short story, but my response was "of course it was;" I could easily imagine this being a Raymond Carver creation. There's something fundamentally different about the way short stories deal with character-building and "incident," and Loktev has such an instinctive sense for conveying those differences. In any other version of this story, we're going to get plenty of early hints about his character that lead us like breadcrumbs to The Thing Alex Eventually Does, and we're certainly not going to learn more about the life and back-story of the supporting guide character than we do about either of our ostensible protagonists. But this isn't…
The visuals, beautiful.
The story, ugly.
A hopeless film,
and also a brilliant one.
Edit: after a few hours rest, I have reflected a bit on the final few scenes of this film, and found something to hope for.
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
I prefer these kinds of movies with a little shorter running time but this is top notch minimalism. The director even found a way to self destruct a strong, loving relationship without any words. The hypnotic score and grandiose cinematography are definitely enough to overwhelm the viewer into a meditative state. It seemed like sort of a middle finger to the superficial feminism that gets spewed out by the lowest common denominator of Womyns' Studies majors. It follows the minimalist recipe but there is more than enough fresh ideas to chew on, especially the "turning point". I was always looking forward to seeing where the lead actress' red hair would take us next.
The Loneliest Planet is a film I really want to love. It's slow, and takes its time, and wants to reel you into the relationship between the main couple. However, The Loneliest Planet is also slow and takes too much time.
I really love when films take their time to show you things instead of rushing, but there is a difference between taking your time and meandering around in a vain attempt to stretch out the running time.
There's a real subtle beauty to the main theme of The Loneliest Planet, but it really doesn't need to be a 2 hour film. This would be fine at 80 minutes, and actually manage to make a harder impact. Gael Garcia Bernal…
Material that was better handled by Force Majeur.
The Loneliest Planet had all the makings of an interesting film. It has gender politics slowly simmering underneath that occasionally surface until it hits it's boiling point in a sudden way. And once it does hit that event that alters the dynamic it just kind of hangs out there. You can see how it affects the characters as they move on from it awkwardly, but they never manage to bring themselves to discuss it. Julia Loktev represents it in an interesting way too. Prior to that event the framing was much wider showing the openness of the world around them and when it came in closer the couple is always together or alongside one another. But once it happens the…
Filme interessante pelas imagens e fotografia, porém extremamente cansativo, praticamente sem diálogos o filme se passa em lugar do leste europeu muito lindo. Não sei qual foi a intenção da diretora, mas o filme é muito fraco de ações.
I love how this movie unveils the quiet, subconscious choice we make to feel connected to someone (or separate from them) based on how we fill in the blanks in our understanding of them -- and there are always blanks. We never love or hate another person, only our incomplete idea of who that person is.
New favorite toast: Life is good. A good life is better.
Based on a McSweeney's story, THE LONELIEST PLANET seems very reliably beauty-touched but hipster-shrugging ironic experience concerned. Ordinary life (relationship) or extraordinary life (far-flung, obscure Georgian backpacking). Yeah, yeah. I get it. Especially in indie long takes and sad, slow, sketchy randomness. I think 2009's AWAY WE GO, while a lot more pedestrian and close to home, did this stuff much better. Or even 2010's MONSTERS, while the extraordinary was a bit more fantastical in sci-fi disaster. Or even -- to swing back to McSweeney's print fiction, or whatever -- Eggers' novel You Shall Know Our Velocity. I appreciate all the minute, mundane travel stuff intersecting pristine, once-in-a-lifetime wilderness views, but LONELIEST PLANET isn't lonely enough.
The first film I saw by this director (Day, Night, Day, Night) was a completely breathtaking movie, and I completely recommend that everyone go out and see that immediately if you can.
This one... did not quite have that effect on me. I feel like it was too long. That's what I'm coming down with. Although I think the central performances were quite good, and I even liked the turning point Event that occurs, I just felt like it was somehow about twenty minutes too much at the end of the day. Perhaps it was intended to wear on you, maybe that was supposed to be a shared experience with the characters... but I just don't think it worked well for me.
I'm definitely still excited to see what she does next though. Even if this didn't work perfectly, there is a lot of interesting material here.
Don't quite know what to make of this one. Some of the most beautiful landscape shots I've ever seen though.
An engaged couple on a hiking trip in Russia become uncertain of their future after a run in with a local hunter. Good looking film with not much plot that could've been at least a half hour shorter.
You ever watch a dumb movie that features a "spoof" of independent films where the actors are all mumbly and there's barely any plot? The Loneliest Planet is EXACTLY like that! The actors are so mumbly, that I thought I was watching a foreign film without subtitles for the first 5 minutes. That being said, the cinematography is just gorgeous. It's one of the most gorgeous boring movies I've seen lately. I'd almost recommend watching the movie muted just to see it.
movies directed by women,
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