Staggering, on every level.
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Overwritten at the cost of mystery. Ben's sinister tendencies are played up too often the film has little room to move following Haemi's disappearance.
My ideal version of this film would cut out Haemi's phone call to Jongsu where the sound of heavy breathing, footsteps and the phone being zipped into a bag is heard. You can keep the disquieting cat-running-away-from-its-owner scene.
In a word: unremarkable.
There isn't a single, memorable thing that separates The Man from London from Tarr's well-known films. The pointlessly French setting nullifies the quasi-apocalyptic aura. The melancholic sense often associated with Tarr feels disturbed thanks to one very loud yelling scene featuring Tilda Swinton. And... well, nothing much occurs in this film—which may well be 'the point'.
As strange as it may sound, the fact that very little happens only makes the film more interesting. The film…
Over the course of two features Wang’s aesthetic has morphed from relentlessly following subjects into homes, streets, and break rooms (Tie Xi Qu) to letting events occur statically—quietly, as if patiently listening (He Fengming). This shift in focus from guerrilla documentation (or journalism) to guerrilla filmmaking is asserted by the minute long tracking shot to Fengming’s home that preludes the almost 3 hours of static takes that make up He Fengming. It’s an engrossing 3 hours, recollecting tragic events from…