Silent Light
Carlos Reygadas, 2007
#3, 2008 Skandies

Here are excerpts of the positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes:

  • "heavy with symbolism and glacially paced"
  • "moves at the pace of molasses and snails"
  • "drags"
  • "elementally based in pure cinema"
  • "stiflingly self-conscious"
  • "formal rigor"
  • "prodigiously atmospheric fable"
  • "we are happy to enjoy the silences, to meditate"
  • "doesn't make any particular effort to foreground [the] story"

Again, these are the positive ones. Does this sound like the kind of film I could stand for more than forty minutes?

This film made it up this high in part due to the proselytizing on its behalf by Skandies organizer Mike D'Angelo. D'Angelo also stumped for a movie to which this one has been compared, Gus Van Sant's Gerry, saying that he'd always been fascinated by watching windshield wipers go back and forth and that watching the guys in Gerry walk around was kind of like that. Here's what he has to say about Silent Light:

"One sequence begins with a slow push-in through a shadowy garage door, tilting down to reveal mechanics working in a pit; then jumps back 20 feet or so to reveal Johan standing at the door, hands on hips, peering into the murk; then cuts to a reverse angle from inside, with Johan now facing camera and framed against the landscape: Breathtaking"

If this is the sort of thing you find breathtaking, then, sure, enjoy. Me, I want my forty minutes back.

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