The interwoven stories of several characters; a film director and her muse who was a student activist in 1970s, a waitress who keeps changing jobs, an actor, and an actress. Their lives are loosely connected by almost invisible threads.
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BY THE TIME IT GETS DARK is almost like a new shape. It contains a great many ellipses but is not itself an ellipsis. Many works are said to evoke the kaleidoscope; this one actually does. I love how Suwichakornpong establishes parameters only to radically multiply the plane of the possible. She would appear to do so in order not only to discredit conventional practices, but for the purposes of forging new ones.
Two feature films in, and Anocha is already one of the greatest in cinema today. Lingering between narrative, contemplative, and experimental form, and a more fragmented and looser form than Mundane History, but with the same sensuality.
I would like to give the film an N/A rating, but since I can't do that I will go with three stars. Last night I was just talking to my students about bell hooks' discussion of epistemological humility and then I watched this movie. I felt like I was overhearing a heavily coded conversation for which I have no context or background knowledge about. This movie wasn't made for me, so I'm not in a position to rate it.
This film was a film I have never experienced before. The balance between reality & film was so seamless that it allowed me to become more emotionally invested into the story than I had expected. It never felt as if it was a story being told, I felt as if I was there. The beginning especially pulled me in, and then with every other following scene, I was basically in a wild trip within the eye of many other trips.
This...this was just aggravating cinema. It's not just that it starts with an easy premise and then needlessly goes in a dozen different directions. It's not just the countless sequences of undefined characters doing boring activities. It's that it's so random and so dull, that you have little incentive or desire to engage the work and try to unravel it.