Landscape in the Mist

Landscape in the Mist ★★★★★

It is always tough for me to articulate what I love about a film. It is comparable to attempting to explain to a lover how and why you love them, fully aware that your words will never be sufficient enough. Emotional intelligence trumps analytical intelligence. Although it defies the constraints imposed by language and reasoning, I am certain that I can only grasp some films via my own subjective experience. The best I can aim for is to compress my sentiments into manageable and expressible bits of knowledge via writing. Then, it is up to you, the reader, to develop an emotional connection with my words and map your own route to the sensation. Because of this, I have no idea if the emotion you uncover, if any emotion is discovered at all, is the same as mine. One may interpret this review as a road map that only the individual can follow in order to arrive at a certain philosophical destination.

When watching films, there are certain sequences that seem as if they might continue on eternally without losing their impact. These are genuine and sincere moments, the likes of which can only be found in the most incredible works of fiction. They are transient, dreamlike images imprisoned on celluloid and designed to be seen and rewatched in perpetuity. Landscape in the Mist is propelled by such moments, and that is why I love this film. I have no intention of spoiling or tarnishing these transcendental cinematic moments by presenting them without context, that would only serve to taint my recall of their allure. Rather than that, all I can do is trust that you will believe me when I say that Theo Angelopoulos’ film is a voyage that must be taken with an open mind and an open heart.

The film itself weaves together numerous travels, the most significant of which being the actual journey undertaken by the two children in pursuit of their father. This naturally leads them on a number of shorter journeys, as well as the beginning of many larger ones. These journeys are not definitive or conclusive, yet each is just as significant and profound as the previous. Personally, I have chosen to leave a cloud of ambiguity as my last resting place on the issue, since it is the most comfortable place for me in which to ruminate on the events of heavenly fantasy and terrible sorrow.

Landscape in the Mist is a masterful piece of mood interweaving, with bleak and agonising images adorned with gorgeous, poetic scenery and music. As a result, the relationship between form and content is both complicated and enriched in this way. It is a long, winding path, filled with insightful diversions, breathtaking highs, and excruciating lows.

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