I didn't expect that the film would be so fascinating. In showing only small details - like faces in close-up, hands, fingers playing with a pen etc. - and using no totals, Wilkins captures parts of the emotional contents and the resonances accompanying the words of the different speakers.
I thought this was going to be a boring documentary after all a detailed almost two hour film about a public hearing discussing a Walmart expansion. I was wrong. I barely saw the time go. It was so interesting to hear the different opinions of the town's people and the Walmart representatives. It made me think how difficult a decision it would be for an elected official to decide how to vote on this. Worth watching.
What an odd endeavor to reconstruct a public hearing concerning the expansion of a local WalMart with actors and in b/w 16mm. Though, it's marvellously consistent at that. With only slight changes in camera and movement of actors, one can see how cinematographic moods are constructed, broken with and reinstated. It makes me think of great works by late German filmmaker and media artist Harun Farocki.
I decided to watch the last film on the list without looking at the link. Having no expectations, or even knowing what I was going to watch added mystery to the experience of watching a movie. I just read that the script is verbatim from the hearing. The actor who chewed on a pen was probably thinking about his facial expressions too much in a few scenes. His self-consciousness was distracting, but he did a good job.
Sort of "docu-drama found art", in this case the "found" being the transcript of an actual public hearing regarding the replacement of a town's current WalMart with a Super WalMart. Sounds like a good time to nap but this is surprisingly engaging as well as insightful.
I don't know why this has been put under the "documentary" genre but if this is the new form of doc to oppose the generic ones coming by the dozens on our moviestream platforms then I'll most certainly welcome it. Good to be able to see alternative cinematic views from the U.S. in this detailed recreation of a public hearing regarding the expansion of Wal-Mart store in a small town at the state of New York.
Interesting visual style. The film presents two sides of a conflict, both expressing reasonable points of view, and mediators. I loved how the short break was introduced in "real" time and the music - it truly felt refreshing and gave some time to think about what was said so far... However, I feel like the actual hearing shot in 16mm b&w would have far more emotional impact. Worth giving it a try!