Who knew a four-hour film recounted entirely in voiceover would be not only watchable but compulsive? Llinás builds on the promise of Balnéarios and constructs a fascinating puzzle that haunts and dazzles in equal amounts. One of those films that you want to consume you over and over again.
How pleasurable it was to enjoy the pleasures of narrative instead of watching cardboard figures marched around a plastic game board track. What a joy to simply watch people and faces move, respecting the secrets they house, no coercion from superficial miming pegged to story "beats". What a pleasure to watch the images just for themselves. What a pleasure just to feel pleasure. But, too many men, not enough women!
Actually, un-rated (yet). Watched about half, enjoyed what I saw except for the initially amateurish-looking half hour marred by the (ironically?) unrealistic arrival / departure of characters around the tractor. Perhaps stressing the primacy of the voice-over and oral story-telling over the use of illustrative pictures? It was off-putting rather than unsettling. Need to complete on youtube or wherever :-(
Although with a very intriguing and innovative narration style the movie loses its charm after the first 2,5 hours.I don't know how I feel about the omnipresent,and all-knowing narrator.The voiceover not agreeing with what we see it is indeed a step forward for an emancipated viewer,with active imagination.However the image in cinema is still prominent and the film feels overstuffed.Film should not mirror literature.
The two are normally presented as alternative options, but here is a film that both shows and tells at the same time. Sometimes in concert and sometimes clashing. Like Out 1 the whole exceeds the parts. There are some stunning moments in here, but its the audacity of filming a rambling four-hour long lost Pynchon novel that makes this special. Like Pynchon it fell just on the right side on nonsense. Good chapters.
"Extraordinary stories" is like an episodical novel accompanied with the moving images. It’s got lots of digressions that may or may not have something to do with the three main stories, and perhaps this is what I appreciate in this experiment. It tries to bring some features of literature into cinema. 4 hours of voiceover narrator is kind of extreme though, and the text doesn’t always reach the level of literature.
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...
Typically, not being able to fully understand a film is a negative aspect, but the reason I couldn't recount the whole plot of this film is because there's simply so much of it. It genuinely is three films, each with their own distinct subplots. I think I like it more as an experiment in storytelling than I do as an actual narrative, but it works regardless. Certainly one of the most fascinating films I've watched.
Intriguing plots, pretty gripping, though I lost interest towards the end but maybe that's the point - the destination itself was never going to be the most interesting part. Mubi probably should choose a different photo for this film btw - those two characters are very minor parts in the whole journey.
One of the most compelling openings I've seen. I instantly bought the style, which was unlike anything. The visuals are, while I’m no aficionado, the most artful rendering of lo-fi cinematography I've experienced. Mostly silent performances show the range of what the human face can convey. Only ding is the part seeing w/ uniforms and tanks and shit, felt from a different movie. Still, 5 bloody stars for originality!
Llinás arrives with the ambition to rewrite the protocols of cinema with a satchel full of Borges, Cortázar, Verne and Stevenson. Llinás brings literature into a new dimension with the genius of the lunatic and the verb of the classics. From neutral motel rooms to shady gas stations, his lonesome characters wander, downriver, forging less than extraordinary stories.
Im in awe of this movie. It blends literature and film so beautifully together. The stories are great and even though its 4 hours long it holds up amazingly well. Im only not giving it 5 stars because the final story gave a very amateur look to it as well as the end credits.
An extraordinary feat of storytelling. The narrator takes on the quality of an omnipotent force, prodding characters down labyrinths of inexplicable human motives, plopping them like lab rats into bizarre circumstances to see how the human species reacts. As the philosopher Morrison once opined, "People are strange." I wonder if the hotel has that guy’s credit card for incidentals.
Unique storytelling builds up the atmosphere in a stylish and intelligent way, and (to some extent) reminds me of Tarantino. The stories are quite heavy, filled with nostalgia and loneliness, about people drifting through life, lost. While I enjoyed the vagueness, how things are left untold, and the dreamy flavour of the whole experience, I have to say it doesn't wrap up - it "just ends", in a similar way it begins.
I was really looking forward to 4 hours of awesomeness but instead got 4 hours of dreadfully boring stories told almost exclusively through a narrator, which it turns out is a terrible idea. I think people are rating this up b/c it feels like you've accomplished something when you sit thru 4 hours of a movie? I have no other explanation. This was dull film making. Technically dull and story-wise even duller.
Truly awful and I can't understand the high ratings it's receiving. Fails the Show, Don't Tell test relying entirely on narration to carry the plot forward. Terrible cinematography and pointlessly long. Some quirky tales told along the way but the whole thing would be better served by a book or radio story. Sorry
If there's one thing I took from Extraordinary Stories, it's that writer-director-star Mariano Llinás isn't Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Which is a great shame, as this is the kind of film that he could have made into something amazing. As it is, you get to watch fairly dull stories intertwine for four hours. Yes, four hours.