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The Changing Face Of Expanded Cinema In The 21st Century

Author: druid333-2 from United States
22 October 2009

Originally based on the Roman myth,'The Rape Of The Sabine Women' is Eve Sussman's attempt to take her (very)large scale,experimental theater piece to the screen. This is a piece of theater that takes the story of the early days of Rome,when the early Romans wanted to inter marry with the women of the Sabine clan (but were refused by the elders). The Romans,undaunted,merely invited the Sabines to a grand scale fest,and usurped the women away from the men. Years later,trying to even the score,the Sabine men waged vengeance on the Romans,only to be defeated in battle. The no name international cast works well with Sussman's vision of the story (although,she shifts the time from Rome, thousands of years ago to early 1960's Europe,replete with genuine reproductions of period costumes from the era,giving it a look that reminded me of Federico Fellini's 'La Dolce Vita'). I really admired the film's visual look (it's shot on a myriad of formats:HD Video,16mm & Super 8mm film stock,35mm film stock,etc.),as well as the sound composition,which shifts from ambient sound,to electronic music (supplied by Jonathan Bepler),to a massive chorus during the battle scenes in an ancient Greek amphitheater,a scene that took no less than six directors to pull off. What also made this film all the more interesting is the fact that there is absolutely no spoken text (up front,although minute washes of spoken text can be heard in the background),so no English subtitles are present. At times,this film reminded me of Matthew Barney's five part 'Cremaster Cycle' (in the way images have a lyrical feel to them). This will not be everybody's cup of tea,but anyone with an open mind for expanded cinema will find it worth a look. Not rated by the MPAA,this film serves up flashes of nudity,some muted violence & at least a couple of rough seduction scenes. Probably not a good choice for the little ones (who would probably be bored out of their skulls within the first five minutes,anyway)

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