|Index||4 reviews in total|
I watched the premiere of "Dust" last night at the Pusan Film Festival knowing little about it and was very pleasantly surprised. One of the few things I had heard about it was how little dialogue it had and how it was even reminiscent of a silent film at times and although I am a fan of long, slow films I wasn't looking forward to that aspect of it. After watching it I can say the sound in the movie was probably one of my favourite parts of it. It is hardly a silent movie; the best way I could describe it is as "appropriately quiet." The movie is set in world with a handful of human survivors, of which we meet only three, and as the opening quote tells us "it is a quiet world when there's no people around". The void left by the dialogue is not filled with a score but by natural sounds (they live on a gorgeous farm/estate on or near a river) and by slightly exaggerated sounds of footsteps, pouring milk, chewing and putting on sweaters and many more small details that accompany the action and make the film feel more full yet intimate. There is a little scoring in the third act when the emotions get heavier and I felt it may not have been necessary but that's just my opinion. There is in fact not much dialogue but not too little. When facial expressions and subtle looks can communicate emotions they are used, but when they do speak to each other it is used well to advance the plot and characterization. The plot is pretty straightforward and don't expect many surprises but where this film excels is in the subtle portrayal of emotion and thoughts. The three actors (especially the Eli and Eloidie) do a good job and put in very realistic performances. I found this movie reminded me of Koreeda's "Nobody Knows" and what the "Blue Lagoon" could have been like if it had been more realistic and been complicated by a love triangle. Overall I thought this was a very beautiful movie (aided by the amazing cinematography and locations also) and would highly recommend it.
I didn't watch this film with much information about it, other than the
fact I think Olly Alexander is a terrific actor and was interested to
see what else he had done. It's clear the director has highlighted
parts of this movie that tend to be, not so much over- looked, but
happily enjoyed without drawing attention to itself. The use of simple
cinematography is safe but aesthetic! The lengthy shots could be seen
to draw out the film creating something that is possibly slow-burning,
however I think in the right mind set it is enjoyable and harmonic to
the storyline. The constant reminder of their isolation and abandoned
surrounding through magical establishing shots seems to pull you in
rather than, typically, push you out. The deep focus is drawn to even
the smallest thing that moves creating such a relaxing atmosphere that
it's hard not to slightly fall into a trance with it all.
The way sound is used in this film just highlights the difference it can make. The lack of dialogue is over-looked by the fact that the sound speaks more volumes than words can. It also gives a sense or possibly raises the question of what would we say if the outside world was gone, if we didn't have subjects or worries or matters of life to concentrate on, would we fall into an abyss of silence? -- The sound seems to become more metaphorical than anything else, every sound from a bird to putting a spoon in a bowl, is louder and more prominent, the little things in life we loose due to hectic chaos and the rest of the world become more significant. What I found most effective was how the sound of the truck, when finally fixed, was loud and, to me, so over-powering that I turned down the sound only to realise that this was perfect. The fixing of the truck meant that their world would change that this would be the most important factor of what would change their relationship. But for the characters it was different, for Elias, he couldn't avoid the over- powering noise of the truck that would change things. To me I found that to be a more powerful part of the film as it pulled me in and truly made me think. Actually the main thing I loved about this film was that the silence allowed me to take in and depict what I could from what was happening and how it really made me feel.
I thought that the acting was impressive for what lines they had. I thought Catherine Steadman provided a clear sense of authority yet vulnerability, characteristics suited to each of the male characters. I thought the scene after they camped out and continued to drive to his mothers was extremely well acted as she laughed to herself and then began to cry. It took me on that short emotional journey and for the first proper time in the film I felt a complete feeling of sympathy for her.
As I said, I enjoy Olly Alexander as an actor and find his work to be easy watching and relaxed, he manages to create a character you feel is sat on the couch next to you watching the film rather than on the screen and no where else. However, I felt that the lack of dialogue in particular for him and the use of lots of low-key lighting on his face began to detract away from his ability and full potential.
Andrew Hawley isn't an actor I've come across before, and I think he pulled off the character well! I mean I don't think he and the female lead suited, they were different characters all together, but I presume that was on purpose to portray the 'you take what you get' idea. Were they in love or was there just no one else to love? However, with Hawley I found some of his lines lacked emotion and appeared abrupt, whether this was a character choice or not I don't know.
This film is a recommendation for any person into a more indie film that steers away from Hollywood traditions. the use of cinematography and simple editing portrayed the simple life they now lead. Overall, I feel it's realistic outlook effectively made me experience or think about the reality of life and the importance of relationships with people close to us. Whether I'd watch this film again is another matter but I will definitely remember it as a beautiful piece of art created with a moving intention.
Debut director Max Jacoby impresses with this stylistic love triangle
about twins Elodie and Elias who lives in an old mansion in a rural
area where they exist in harmony and freedom as if they were the only
human beings left on earth. Their close to marital relationship is put
to the test when they discover a wounded man on the nearby highway
during one of their daily walks.
Filmmaker Max Jacoby's feature film debut is a quietly paced mystery which plays out in a post-apocalyptic paradise of nature where a pair of siblings live without any contact with civilization. With his minimalistic style of filmmaking and linear narrative Max Jacoby tells an esoteric story about two relatively anonymous characters and follows them with precise camera movements as they partake in their daily routines which mostly contains of eating breakfast, have short conversations, swim in a dead silent river, go to bed and listen to music. When they one day encounter with a strange man on the highway who seems to have fallen from the sky, they welcome him to their home, but their peaceful correlation is disturbed by his arrival, and when he falls in love with Elodie hidden emotions reaches the surface and reveals delicate secrets.
The continuing silence in Luxembourgian Max Jacoby's aesthetic independent film becomes an essential character and creates this film's gravitating atmosphere which subtly balances the harmonic with the ominous. This is a formalistic thriller-drama that explores sensitive themes within a fictional and artistic universe where the audio-visual expression surpasses the three actors' understated though efficient performances.
Same place I watched it after being intrigued by the trailer - beautifully shot film, I loved how sound and silence was used more than dialogue and yet the actors let you understand perfectly what was happening. The setup is not very detailed - no explanation for the emptiness of the landscape, but the movie has a hint of that Blue Lagoon-esque isolation that causes tension in the love triangle, giving the post-apocalyptic setting an unusually instinctive edge. I felt the start was a little slow and the last section was a bit rushed, so that could have been balanced better, but overall I found this a quietly stunning film. Definitely worth watching.
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