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H2O (1929)

 -  Short
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 434 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 1 critic

A study on water, the reflections and motions of the liquid that accentuates its ethereality and metallic beauty.

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Title: H2O (1929)

H2O (1929) on IMDb 7.1/10

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Storyline

The first half is a look at water rushing, pouring from a pipe, spouting, falling, moving, and churning. The second half presents reflections, particularly how patterns appear in water as it is moved by breezes or other small forces. Wavy lines appear on the surface as if dividing the frame; swirls, too, do the same, bringing animation to the images. Donald Sosin's piano adds an airy quality to the images. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Virtuosic abstract chiaroscuro
8 February 2007 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I watched the movie as part of Image Entertainment's box set of Unseen Cinema. There's no way I would have sought it out otherwise. After all, what we have here is film footage of water. How could that possibly be good? Well I congratulate myself for my bloody-mindedness of watching every feature on the disc. The first minute is a bit slow, hardly-interesting figurative shots, a kind of a deliberate prelude, but then we get shot after staggering shot of coruscations, ripple effects, some barely recognisable as water. You keep on thinking that Steiner is going to run out of inspiration and then another brilliant shot appears. The dappling of the water in some shots comes as close to music as film is going to get. Being an admirer of abstract art was especially helpful for me in admiring the film's aesthetic.

Being so far removed from standard narrative film-making I would suggest that this short has limited interest to most, but for anyone interested in the avant-garde or experimental cinema this is 24-carat gold.


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