A film with minimal writing, there is a lot to admire in Earthly. At the bottom of a mountain (a mountain with a folklore legend), rests a town, brimming with poverty and is perhaps being controlled by the military. The cinematography of Earthly is top notch and often provides multiple frames within a shot giving away the contrasting perspective and resistance between the people and the army.
I am not sure what I expected from this film, but it never reached the edification that I hoped for. "Earthly" could easily replaced with mundane, so much of the film is defined by how little actually occurs. The scenes that is does depict have nothing intrinsically beautiful about them. It feels as though there was a void of what could have been put on display for this. Even obtuse films eventually need a point.
I wish I could see this on the big screen, as I think I missed out on seeing lots of fascinating details in the images. Wonderful vignette about a location I had no idea existed. Those enormously tall dusty brown trees towering over the houses are breathtaking. The military presence is ominous. I thought of Molokai and how the army has bombed it to death. Sad destruction of natural areas all over the world.
A phenomenal collection of rhythmically conjoined quasi-documentary fragments. There is a deftness of touch to this assemblage that is as remarkable as it is uncommon. The images are gorgeous and judiciously captured. There is an almost musical-intuitive sense of montage. The whole thing comes off as an immensely satisfying immersion in a quotidian world raised to the station of magic.
This film reminded me of Deleuze's argument that the cinematic frame creates an equivalence between everything that passes through it. Aerial landscape, house, military parade, dog: all are equally proportionate within the frame, all are equally worthy of attention. But this loss of hierarchy is also a loss of center, the world/frame profoundly non-human, and the camera the gaze of non-anthropocentric disinterest
The quality of the film was professional and good. For the most part, the film is a succession of cuts of different scenes. For example, scene of a mountain, cut to scene of a town, cut to scene of a house, cut to scene of a sign, etc. But I found the film to be depressing with hardly any action. Perhaps the style of the film director in trying to convey that there isn't much action in small towns as Patagonia.
Beautiful startling landscape in the background, grinding poverty in the foreground, and the military is everywhere. An intriguing study in contrasts. I liked the enigma of the legend offered at the beginning, and applaud the filmmakers' willingness to keep their distance.