I'm wary of lumbering Scott Barley with superlatives, but when I was thinking Beethoven, Sibelius, Friedrich and Tarkovsky it's because in an avant-garde contemplative film we have a deep brooding romanticism that touches the sublime; it's a magnificent achievement that works on many levels, a major breakthrough for not only the young director but contemporary cinema too.
Immersive, sublime experience. Ideally should be seen projected in a darkened theater, because literally half the film is total darkness. No narrative and no dialogue, only a foreboding opening text that is ultimately the only 'context' provided to the viewer. It's clear that we're not following a 'story' but entering into an elemental, primordial space.
Scott's word of advice to not think too much [about it] was admittedly hard or impossible to follow. Seconds into this work I was galloping with anxiety, face-to-face with that monolith of thunderous stationarity. It's loud,it's still, and at the same time it's teeming with real or perceived activity, in mutation,and that waterfall is as quickly a miasma of rising vapor or the gaping maws of an ethereal dragon[cont.]
A work of contemplation, admiration and chaos. A calm and poignant work of art.The whole film had an effect on me but one of the scenes that truly had impact on me was the sunset scene that leads to thunder. One of the most beautiful and well constructed scenes that I have seen in a very long time.A personal feeling over all was a message to humanity, this is not our land.
This film affected me so profoundly that when the dawn finally broke, I felt like I had been lost in the night for days. My anxieties, fears and uncertainties were brought to light in the heart of darkness by Barley's absence of image as the film built to its terrifying climax. To take you so far from the everyday, yet bring you crashing back to the reality of our world, was something truly magnificent. Thank you.
Wow! Many filmmakers make use of light & variation in light, but this is masterful use of darkness and absence of 'image'. Whilst the first hour is quite still and reminds me of still photography such as Ken Rosenthal or some of SJ Ramir's video works, the final third is one of the greatest atmospheric experiences I've ever had from sound or image - gave me tingles, feeling like I was naked pummeled into oblivion.