The hypnotic rhythm of a freighter’s pace reveals the continuous movement of the machinery devouring its workers. Perhaps it is a boat adrift, or maybe just the last example of an endangered species with engines still running, unstoppable.
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Eerie landscapes and the desolate, alien sights/sounds of an industrial freighter at sea, turned into haunting disembodied abstractions. It's something like an atmospheric immersion (best on a big screen); and if it asks our participation, it repays in spades; seeps in, to our intuitive sense of knowing - which is empathy-in-general - so that, before we ever meet these men, we know the tone of their thoughts... 3.75
more proof that contemporary cinematographers are more talented than their directors, some of the most beautiful images i've seen in a film, but more importantly this is a film which films people working
DEAD SLOW AHEAD perhaps intends to be slightly more seamless and contained than it in fact is in its combination of a kind of observational documentation (often drab, mundane) w/ a kind of bravura psychedelic photographic alchemy. I cannot be alone in being primarily wowed here by the stuff that aggressively reaches out to patently wow you. Yes. Of the truths on display here, I am more amenable to the ecstatic ones.
[Review] 80/100 - Dead Slow Ahead (Mauro Herce, Spain)
Through long takes, Herce leads us through a rather incredible journey, with never a feeling of stasis in spite of its constant feeling of presence.
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This movie is simultaneously mesmerizing and nauseating in the Sartrean sense. The cinematography, combined with audio that adds to the sense of being isolated within a floating island of pipes and machines, filled me with despair even as I couldn't turn away. It is disconcerting to be aesthetically pleased by shots of refineries and the inhumane interiors of ships of unbelievable size. Gave me a sense-giddy dread.
The cinematography is outstanding through its simplicity - the views are majestic, eerie, weirdly dreamy and hypnotising. Some of the images are truly beautiful, and the way the shots are put together with the incredible sounds creates a unique sense of calmness but also lonely uneasiness. These fragments of the life of a freighter (yes!) without narration result in an interesting surreal/abstract vibe. Amazing work!
The title forewarns you of what you are letting yourself in for, but that doesn't make it any less tiresome for almost the entire runtime. There's a point to it all. It's just very hard to care while nothing much happens onscreen for over an hour.