This is a brilliantly immersive film about life aboard a fishing boat. It follows an unusual approach in going completely visual and installing cameras at different locations on the boat. I had trouble figuring out what I was looking at in half of the scenes, but that just added to the appeal.
The screams, singing and wails that come from the machinery really help to make this film so captivating. Despite the long takes, the film is so dynamic as there is rapid movement occurring constantly in microscopic levels. The seagulls above and the deep sea below work as a dualistic metaphor. I can't help but feel a familiarity when watching this film in the way one would have an experience of deja-vu.
Darwin's Nightmare at sea. Influenced by Moby Dick, "the result is a much more than an anthropological exercise. It is an exposition of blood, salt and sweat, the record of a deadly industry carried out on our behalf, far beyond our cosy, everyday lives. Watching it is as near as you will get to the experience itself. I recommend sea-sickness pills – or at least a good tot of bourbon." - Philip Hoare, The Guardian
A great filmmaking feat, with the fishing boat as sea monster, a feral metal machine that cuts through the brine while greedily gutting and devouring its prey. The images were fantastic -- and fantastically original in letting us see a fishing vessel with new eyes. But, I have to admit, two-thirds through the movie, I had enough of it. Seeing it on a big screen instead of my laptop may have made a difference.
There was so much to like about this film. At the same time, however, these kinds of films predicated on an interesting theory, an interesting process, and ultimately, leading toward a viewers mind boggling assumption as to how much work it took to edit and finalize, these kinds of films usually tend to be short lived and thus, ineffective. But again, so much to like about this film. Images were beautiful...
"Leviathan" forces its audience to stare into the maw of darkness, desolation, and tranquility, all seemingly at once. But as filmmakers Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Verena Paravel let the natural undulation of the sea direct the camera, they also let the camera linger, and linger, and linger, and what once started out as hypnotic quickly snaps us out of the trance, all too aware now that we're watching a movie.
the best experimental. The edges between handheld and unmanned cameras, between film score (was there music?) and monstrous soundscape, between cascades of fish and singular images of their bloated faces, all point to an existential queasiness. I kept thinking of Taoist ideas of creation the same as destruction...etc. Kept getting lulled by the compositions, until blood dripping buckets and machetes were beautiful.