A seemingly haunted painting drives a greedy man insane. A rich blind woman gets a new pair of eyes that allow her to see for only one brief ironic moment. An idyllic painting gives a Nazi war criminal in hiding some fleeting comfort.
Two wanderers, a young man and a young woman, meet in the desert and decide to travel on together. The two travellers walk and hitch-hike their way down the road to their destination, the beach, becoming friends and lovers.Written by
A young hitchhiker carrying a guitar case (which he jealously guards) and a bedroll, heading to a beach in the coast, is accompanied in his journey by a beautiful and free spirited female traveler he meets on the road. A love story in the Hippie Era.
Interesting work from one of the most famous directors of this time (whether you like it or not). A very simple plot, followed by the constant camera of Spielberg, and a careful (though not totally) direction makes it for something that should be watched at least once.
The film has its visual merits: the cinematography is quite good and the viewer gets to see some great shots of the desert landscape the protagonists travel through. Some other takes, framings and the use of close-ups are neat, while some others need a few improvements. There's some effective use of tracking shots. The editing is also well managed. The weird part is the use of a couple of jump cuts and freeze frames that give a feeling of being watching some 60's hippie sitcom credits (sorry, I'm not a big fan of these techniques in films). The soundtrack by Michael Lloyd goes well with the scenes.
For a movie without dialogue, where expressions are important, both Richard Levin and Pamela McMyler put a great effort in their respective acting, where they "say" a lot without speaking a single word. Their roles are not so memorable or special, but they give their best without disappointing.
Symbolism is also present. And it is important to understand some of the context in which this was filmed: the late 60's, where hippie movement and free love were often found here and there. The personality of the girl (who represents the free spirit and slovenliness of hippies) has an impact on the boy (who represents something more reserved and quiet), who during his journey to the beach (who could be also seen as a personal journey to an ideal of the society he lives in), he "learns" from her, but at the same time she appears to project some thoughts and ideals of him. This is the strongest point of Amblin': their interaction and how it affects to each other.
It's not a perfect film (it gets very amateurish at some points), but it has some interesting messages and great production values. Recommended for those who want to discover the beginnings of one of the most prolific directors in Hollywood.
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