Imbued with the spirit of Robert Louis Stevenson and filtered through the sensibilities of Jorge Luis Borges and Thomas Pynchon, three unconnected, voiceover-narrated tales each start off innocently enough and then veer into ever stranger, more fascinating realms.
Clocking at 4 hours, Extraordinary Stories is an unashamedly overwhelming cinematic phenomenon, a strange artifact that brilliantly entwines myriads of narratives and a glorious celebration of storytelling. The film that made Llinas an international cinema hero.
A truly fascinating novelesque account of three stories that benefits from its compelling narration and its multilayered narrative and stylistic content, assuming at times forms of essays and documentaries adding only to the inmense appeal of the movie. The digressions involving female characters showcase the most insightful and tender narrations, evoking the skills of Eric Rohmer at the top of his game.
Camerawork, acting, sound design were all mostly mediocre and IT TOTALLY DIDN'T MATTER. That's the genius. The reliance on editing/music/post-production-in-general as the primary narrative device works in as iconoclastic & astonishing a way here as ever in film history. Then fashioning a cinematic infrastructure out of assorted literary conventions...? Badass, smart af, DIY directing. Look forward to more from him...
One of the most astonishing films I've seen in the past five years. It's an assemblage of stories that you wish would never end, but instead develop recursively and obliquely, like in a Paul Auster's novel. Ultimately, Extraordinary Stories film about storytelling itself. The ending is a huge let down, or, rather, it's a reminder that what matters is the trip, and not the destination, pardon the cliché.
It draws you in by giving you little bits of the stories at a time. Then it starts going on tangents. All of the stories are good to excellent, but not all of the tangents are. One of the central themes is that idea of constantly moving on. While it's quite easy to romanticize the road, I can't help but think of all the things you miss out on. You don't develop meaningful relationships.
The four hours fly by. A wonderful film that at first seems to be about mysteries, conspiracies and assassins, instead reveals itself to be about something much more down to earth - the essentiality of human interaction and the boundless adventures and stories that lie everywhere around us. A movie that makes the fantastic ordinary and the mundane extraordinary. A real treat.