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Marina Antunes [Celluloid 12.07.15] Canada scifi mystery

I sometimes wonder if people really understand what a movie is about on a first watch. Sure, sometimes there's nothing to get but other times, times when you watch a movie like Nestor, I'm not convinced anyone can really make sense of it from one viewing. There's simply too much going on. Or maybe not enough. This one is definitely a brain teaser.

Nestor is Daniel Robinson's debut feature. Typically when you say that, or in this case type that, there's a team of people who helped make the movie but in this case, there isn't. Nestor is written, directed, edited, produced and stars Robinson in the movie's single role and before you start thinking that this means the movie compromises on some aspect, you'll be happy to know that it does not. I find super low budget movies often, to their detriment, skimp on audio quality but Nestor does not which goes a long way in buying the movie a lot of good will which it doesn't really need because honestly, from the opening moment it had my attention and didn't let go for it's entire running time.

Sure, it's only 62 minutes long but Robinson crams a lot of information into those 62 minutes and really, one of the reasons I love it is because it's lean. We're currently in the midst of a trend towards bloated movies that run far longer than they have story for but Nestor is just as long as it needs to be to tell its story and not a minute longer. At no point does it lag or get boring and every scene is necessary to the story without deviating far from the central idea. What that central idea is is up for debate but the discussions we had post screening, of which there were a few, leaned towards the movie being about making movies and the difficulties of making art in general. It's a good a reading of the material as any and Robinson himself seemed a bit cryptic about the themes.

Robinson was, however, very open about why Nestor is a one man show; not out of a want to generate buzz but out of necessity. He wanted to make a movie and didn't know how else to do it other than by doing everything himself. The result is not only impressive because of the technicality behind it but because it's well done. Robinson doesn't hold the audience's hand through the proceedings but trusts that the audience cares enough to follow along though the mystery alone is enough to keep one engaged.

I nearly wrote off Nestor when I read that the entire thing was made by one man but now that I've been dazzled by it, I want to share it with all the movie lovers I know.

Any way you cut it, Daniel Robinson's movie is a great watch, a unique cryptic puzzle about making movies. Or maybe it's about time travel. Or maybe it's about both! Or neither! I'm not really sure but I can't wait to see it a few more times to piece the bits together.

Recommended Release: Upstream Color

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Lenny (6 years ago) Reply

Where did you see this? Any help on how we could find it would be great.


Marina (6 years ago) Reply

Played at Whistler Film Festival. Currently making festival rounds.


Phil (5 years ago) Reply

It's on Amazon prime. It is beautiful but I just don't get it.

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