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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.
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.
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