Artist Peter Kubelka's little discussed and slim filmography has oddly appealed to me ever since I first stumbled upon it. Many people are bound to despise his every work, but I found myself greatly intrigued with this man's catalog of experimental shorts. I have now seen four of his short films, each of them charming, unique, semi-brilliant, but unfortunately flawed in their own special ways, and I can definitely say that he is one of the most fascinating avant garde filmmakers I know of. This film is probably his most famous, along with the enigmatically exciting "Arnulf Rainer" (which may be my personal favorite of his simply because it's miraculously engaging despite feeling like the type of minimalist modern art that I would dismiss as pretentious bull), and it may be his best. MAY be. Unfortunately, it is rather flawed and, despite the brief running time, kind of gets tedious towards the end but, overall, it's quite unique. The soundtrack is entirely made up of mundane (?) sort of dialogue recorded from all over Africa, and it's all in foreign languages so, since I can only speak English and didn't watch this with subtitles, I never was able to understand what they were saying. But whatever they were saying is actually kind of irrelevant to the film's power and intent. The chaotic mixture of words flowing through the background with both grace is vigor is not meant to be understand, instead it is used as more of a tool in which to steer the rhythmic ship that this cryptic little travel film really is. The imagery is a mixture of the cruel and the beautiful; and a warning to animal lovers: there's a lot of hunting in this film, which leads to some rather explicit (if frankly and neutrally filmed and depicted) visuals that you may want to avoid, but since this is how some people have to get their food I feel like it's mostly justified, and the filming of it is just to further capture the daily life of the African residents that populate this picture. All in all, this movie is something of a mystery to me, and to anyone who watches it, which is the main similarity it has to the rest of Kubelka's films. Although his other movies are visually much darker and experimental, as well as even less narrative or coherent, one can still tell they were all made by the same mastermind...or fraud...or artistic troll...or whatever Kubelka may be...really his work is much to mysterious to have a single valid interpretation attached to it that can be considered in any way 100 percent accurate.
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