I found this jarring. I felt guilty in my relatively physically comfortable, contemporary, somewhat cosmopolitan life... that I could scarcely relate to these people, who are really not so far away from me on this planet. And yes, time has effectively stopped for them, but still...
This one is pretty spectacular. A collection, indeed, of portraits. Still lives that are not still in a world that is never still. Because these people are all living in a world that has failed to progress along w/ "civilization," stillness, fixity, takes on an extra layer of meaning. David Lynch meets Walker Evans. A little of Akerman's FROM THE EAST. Something of Sokurov. And the landscape shots are mindblowing.
wax figures in a decrepit paradise.though smiling,faces hide interrogative hesitation: how much can i say, how much can i show? caught in almost hieratic poses, immobile and frail, caught between two worlds, the old order and the new one, resolute yet tense like birds of transition over a vast seascape. what do photography, death and insectarium have in common? motionlessness. with this short, loznitsa seems to try..
'Serene, I fold my hands and wait, Nor care for wind, nor tide, nor sea, I rave no more 'gainst time or fate, For lo! my own shall come to me. ...What matter if I stand alone? I wait with joy the coming years, My heart shall reap where it hath sown, And garner up its fruit of tears...' BURROUGHS
Very simple idea, and not even original, for the creation of the film. And it works beautifully. Every scene has what makes good photography and also good documentaries (when it comes to portraits). All life, tension, movement, stilness seem to concentrate in front of the camera. I always become curious about what happened before and after the shot. About what made that portrait possible, what connection, rapport...
Portraits infused with time. People and place unified by their appearance on a common screen; by the unbroken ambient soundscape; by the wind... Deleuze says: Through movement, the Whole is divided into objects, & objects are reunited in the Whole, with the Whole being Pure Ceaseless Becoming. Can we be so elevated through breath? Through wind? Loznitsa sure makes it feel that way. Quietly, affectingly profound. 3.75
Forgotten place, and forgotten people; somewhere, lost in time... The long, static shots reminded me of old photographs coming back to life; moody and lonely. It's probably a bit too long though, I think it would have more impact as a 15-20min feature.