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Daniel Olmos [Celluloid 06.08.15] Norway post apocalyptic scifi



Dust,
Shifting black sand,
A man walks, another follows.

A blackened earth,
poisoned, ruined.

One man carries with him his faith, the other carries nothing.
Shadow and light, earth and water.
Jealousy.

Something more.


To talk about Dawn is like speaking about a dream, the film is almost ephemeral, a science fiction film stripped back to almost nothing. It is suggestion and nuance and during its 70 minutes it shows us little, but hints at a lot.


Filmed in virtual monochrome in Iceland, the film depicts a journey, and the film is also a journey through the jagged black landscape jutting out in front of a bone-white washed out sky. To reveal the destination would be to take away the meaning. So here I am writing in riddles, how does someone describe a fever or vision?


If the latest Mad Max film (review) was also a journey, a glorious, frenetic, maximalist journey, this is almost the anti-Mad Max, it's more of a meditation exercise than a sci-fi film as we know it in 2015, and it's as necessary and as welcome as Mad Max: Fury Road.



Whilst mainstream sci-fi has become about the spectacle, the underground, perhaps, must push the other way, it seems fitting and maybe it's logical that it does. Recently there has been a bit of a resurgence in films where "not really much" happens: The Rover (review), Valhalla Rising (review) and Under The Skin are all relations to Dawn in a sense, but the events of this film are probably more akin to the hypnotic to and fro of a clock pendulum than those films, even if they are stylistically similar. Dawn lulls the viewer into a sort of theta state, like the monotone chanting of Buddhist monks, and whilst I did not reach nirvana, the film did something to me. Whilst at points it annoyed me, it never bored me. This is impressive when you consider the amount of flash-bang that Hollywood throws at the screen in an attempt to entertain and is a testament to the meditative qualities of the movie. Age of Ultron it is not.


In the end did I like it? I thought I didn't, then I slept on it and now I think I do. Do I understand it? Probably not, Am I meant to? I don't know. Would I recommend the readers of this site to watch it? Well, that is for them to decide.


The film begins with a quote from the Bhagavad Gita, and I will end with a quote from Ferris Bueller, perhaps it will make some sense even if the source is far more mundane: "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."



Recommended Release: The Rover


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Better Writer Than You (2 years ago) Reply

You spelled the title of the movie wrong in the headline.


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