Birth ★★★½

As a notion of the surreal.
Spied by the shadows under eyes.
at the end of the Earth.

Class is mentioned directly one time in Birth, as Sean's parents sit at their meager dinner table. His father describes the family in one fell swoop: "They're people with money." It's a line so direct and obvious that it could collapse the rest of the drama. However, it's the only mention that ever populates the film. Glazer's film is obviously built on a surreal premise. However, as everyone who writes about the film must note the writing credit for Carriere, all those Bunuel films were never really about their surreal premises either, but about the psychological and sociological turmoil that spiral out of them. Birth is triumphantly in the cinema of grand gestures—moving tracking shots (the most exciting moment of the prologue are the dogs that run by, appearing from almost out of nowhere), big empty spaces, bold color tones, and intense close-ups that attempt to reach Falconetti proportions. Glazer never matches Dreyer, but he hits on other tones that better suit him: the family's incestuous and carnivorous control of Anna (even Anna herself is sometimes clueless, who sees no problem in keeping a boy from his family for a night). Huston's engagement speech is supposed to be humorous, but the connotations are more creepy than anything that will follow. Heche's jealously is obvious from the moment Anna steps into her and Peter Stromare's apartment...listening to Anna have to explain her problems is basically framed as these two lower class folk having to listen to #whitepeopleproblems. Anna's scene with Huston in the office building says it all as they embrace—she lowers herself to her knees. Not sure the reveal really does the film any good, but there's so much more to admire besides the love story.

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