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Manuel de Layet [Film Festival 12.01.11] apocalyptic drama

Year: 2011
Directors: Abel Ferrara
Writers: Abel Ferrara
IMDB: link
Trailer: N/A
Review by: The Crystal Ferret
Rating: 9 out of 10

It's the last day on earth. Do you have any projects for the evening ?

From its opening stylishly executed with text on a white background and a Raga playing to the first image of a Buddha statue and incense burning, the least we can say about Abel Ferrara’s version of the Apocalypse is that’s its a definitely Beat and Cool one. You know, that unmistakable feel you have when reading “On the Road” or listening to the “Blues and Haiku” jazz piece, this barely controlled drift between despair and hope.

Most of it will take place inside an artists loft with rare glimpses of the outside. The cast is minimal, so is the action. Yet it’s altogether enthralling, wonderful, reminiscent of Koyaanisqatsi or even of the later Baraka, in its entomologic approach of the human as a species, and filled to the brim with meaning.

What’s interesting is that in the first minutes there’s nothing of particular interest, unless tou count the butt cheeks of the lead actress, mundane life of a couple with the TV blaring, or lots of fucking and nonsensical talking. Then gradually the spectrum widens, we see glimpses of the outside, collated images of the whole world whirling slowly on the various screens, depicting a humanity trying either to finally meet God before the end, or acting like nothing will ever happen.

In the same fashion, slowly, gently, the movie grips you into caring for the two strangers moving on the screen, shifting in emotion the same way the heroine changes outfits. From anger to a final complete acceptance of what is going to happen.

This shows a true mastery of film making, changing the way the audience sees the world for the duration of the piece, we are no longer into the sphere of mundane entertainment but firmly seated into Art.

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Sarcasm (2 years ago) Reply

Really? lol

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