Volunteers from a German non-profit risk the waves of the Mediterranean to pluck refugees from sinking rafts pushing off from Libya in the middle of the night. LIFEBOAT puts a human face on... See full summary »
Filmed and edited in intimate vérité style, this movie follows visionary medical practitioners who are working on the cutting edge of life and death and are dedicated to changing our thinking about both.
With a baited handling of American symbolism, filmmaker RaMell Ross joins five men in the deep South, Alabama, who resurrect the homestead ritual of hog processing under the guidance of Johnny Blackmon.
Composed of intimate and unencumbered moments of people in a community, this film is constructed in a form that allows the viewer an emotive impression of the Historic South - trumpeting the beauty of life and consequences of the social construction of race, while simultaneously a testament to dreaming.
The film was based on Ross' s moving to Alabama in 2009 to live with the families he would be filming, and to almost a decade of observations among their community.( in contrast, when James Agee and Walker Evans went to Alabama in 1936 to document the poverty of the Depression there, they only spent three weeks .) See more »
Lovely poetic flowing vignettes of life, with clear influences
This film, with its free-form flowing scenes of life in Hale County has been praised to the skies by various critics, and in many ways deserves it. That said, sadly all of them have missed its indebtedness to 'A Shimmer of Possibility', a very influential 12 volume photographic work/ book released by Paul Graham in 2008. It pioneered the flowing visual poetics, into a stuttering non-narrative vision of everyday life, finding beauty and meaning in the most ordinary of situations. There are extended film -like sequences of images at the core of this work, that remind me of 'Hale County', especially one of a young African American couple playing basketball in the twilight.
Mr Ross, clearly knows this work - he is an art-photographer and teacher himself - and Mr Graham's work was highly praised, and even given a solo show at MoMA, NYC. RaMell Ross has absorbed the lessons from this work, and transferred them to his film-making, with great skill. The success is his, and I don't wish to take away from it, but it is important to acknowledge a debt and influence, when it is due.
7 of 14 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this