Perhaps the thing that most amazes me about Huillet & Straub's films is how effortlessly cinematic they remain while being such cerebral works. The landscapes that constitute this film's visual language are among the greatest I've ever experienced in any film, conveying a sense of almost transcendent wonder at the landscapes of France and, even more so, Egypt. It is a vision informed by Bresson, Antonioni, Ozu and pregnant with the aesthetics of Kiarastami and Wenders. That this visual wonder does not overwhelm the work's ideas- informed by Engles's meditations of the premature birth of socialist radicalism during the French Revolution, and the frustrations of Egyptian communists as to the "misdirection" of the masses' activism (including what was, to me, an unfortunate ultra-leftist critique of Nasser)- constitutes proof that cinema can not only be philosophical, but actually practice philosophy.
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