Fragments of time captured. The warm grain of 8mm, the sterility of video, the unnatural perfection of HD. Who are these people? Where did they go? Are they still alive? Apartment buildings as empty monuments to their existence. Nature encroaching and obscuring.
I have to admit, I didn't really understand it, although it made more sense after I read some commentary. I enjoyed watching it, though. I sort of wish he would have played around more with (what I assume was) the time-lapse of the sunlight somewhere in the middle. I really wanted to see more and more scenes bloom into light like that. The darkness was surprising.
It looks like they're trying to film the radiations, not in a childish way like Kurosawa/Honda did it in Dreams - showing colorful gases - but almost in an esoterical way (watching it changing the reality). Or maybe in an even more childish way, just staring at it, pointing a finger in its direction...
The film doesn't seem to make any sense, which on its own is not necessary a bad thing (I truly appreciate experimental cinema), it's absolutely fine - if in return we get a memorable experience. I assume the focus here was the theme of abandonment, but I honestly can't imagine a location like Chernobyl shot in a more boring and uninspiring way. There definitely are better ways to spend the 17min this film asks for.
Memory and its ruin. I once visited London twice over two years. The first time it was to reunite with a long-lost friend. It was the best month of my life. The next time I visited he was already living elsewhere. But I couldn't help feeling his presence. Walking the paths we'd walked, imagining the ways he'd have brightened blue London. Wasn't expecting to relive those feelings in a film about Chernobyl.
This film was interesting to watch. Visually transformative, Komljen takes us on a journey. The gradual change in sound and camera movement creates an eerie tone to go along with the steady juxtaposition of images. You can feel the sense of abandonment Komljen is trying to omit relating to the abandoment of the city of Chernobyl.
Having seen ALL THE CITIES OF THE NORTH earlier this year as a festival previewer and now getting a chance to look at FANTASY SENTENCES, I can confidently say that as of Nov. 8, 2017 I have officially pegged Dane Komljen as a filmmaker to watch. Big, big things ahead. This one is a piece of Deleuzean archeology. The strata and gradations of place. Too enticingly clinical to be properly immersive. But casts a spell.
I feel like a film like his depends very much upon your understanding the topic before even watching it. The transition from home movies of people having fun to the desolate woods and then finally to the abandoned buildings was limited and relied upon the viewer already expecting to see the results of Chernobyl show up. Thus, it didn't really give me any new insights, and ended up being rustic ruin porn.