Spanning over two decades of research and innovation from the 1960s to the early-1980s, the Arboria Institute--a secluded New Age commune and a state-of-the-art research facility--and the pill-popping psychiatrist, Dr Barry Nyle, are particularly interested in their newest specimen: the female patient, Elena. To begin to understand her mind-boggling telekinetic and telepathic abilities, the demented doctor keeps Elena heavily sedated and in a constant catatonic state; however, her capabilities are unfathomable. What are Dr Nyle's deeper intentions? In the end, could the institute's utopian doctrine be flawed after all?Written by
In the Arboria Institute's promo film, dated MCMLXVII (1967), the Arboria logo is set in the Avant Garde font. This font was based on the logo of Avant Garde magazine, created in 1968, and wasn't available as a full typeface until 1970. See more »
I heard about this title mid 2011 and has been near the top of my list ever since, not sure what the delay was in distribution but it's been quite a wait, which fuelled my desire to see this film. The instant I saw the trailer I was certain this was my kind of film, vague dialogue hinting a hidden depths, long drawn out scenes with sinister undertones and beautifully crafted futurism styled sets (maybe a little to Kubrick-esk) but still great looking. Everything was in place for a successful romp around a mercurial world spawned and brought to life in nightmarish vision by Panos Cosmatos.
But, for all it's promise and as much as I really wanted to love this film it did fall a little flat. The set design is beautifully crafted, and the high photography levels of some of the scenes is something to be admired, but on occasion a little arbitrary as some scenes did not drive character or narrative forwards nor did it express or emphasis emotions.
The narrative is overly grand which I like (keep it simple) and is deliberately slow and off-paced, which will definitely separate the film lovers from the average watcher that may have stumbled across this film, as you will need to invest a little concentration. There was a downfall to the film as mysterious and menacing atmosphere that it postured at the start did dissipate throughout the film.
This is a first attempt by a director who clearly has a cinematic eye with a good understanding of film taking inspiration from some great directors. Unfortunately he didn't quite create the level of intrigue found in a Kubrick film or a deliver the ruptured reality of a Lynch film and missed the overall depth of a Tarkovskiy film, but it wasn't without it's own moments.
Definitely worth your time - A steady start from a new director but it's worth remembering art house isn't an exact science, hopefully he will get the chance to produce more in the future.
24 of 35 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this