Shanelec's cinema is the sort I normally like a lot but here the style is just too catatonic to take seriously. While such stiltedness is used to fine comic effect by the likes of Kaurismäki and Lanthimos, in The Dreamed Path, the performances and the story seem orphaned. Many will like it but it just seems cold and overly mannered to me.
I do not feel like I can fairly rate this film after only one viewing, but I want to say that I enjoyed it and am intrigued by how it operated. Without reservation I can say there were some powerful images, the construction of the narrative was wonderful, as was the flickering between Film, Life, Film. My reservation is the nature of the slowness and how strongly it pulled at the fabric. A 2nd viewing might fix me.
My least favourite film of Shanelec. It doesn't come together neither emotionally. I am not sure the Bressonian description is fitting here. Bresson's characters even in their detachment, deliver transmit something deeply spiritual confronting their predicament.
Writer-director Angela Schanelec does the exact same thing once again, taking potentially interesting characters and giving them no sense of a life lived beyond the borders of the screen. There are moments when you care for some of them, but they are rare. It's a shame that the good performances are wasted, as in almost every other Schanelec movie.
Angela Schanelec has crafted a film of great emotional depth and quiet power. An ambitious narrative encapsulating several characters' lives over thirty years drives this intelligent look at loss and faded love. Whilst the mannered, vaguely Pinteresque delivery of the performers occasionally distracts, the amount of beauty and poignancy Schanalec unearths from ordinary people's lives elevates this film to high art.
People living lives of quiet desperation. Mesmerizing to watch as the walking and conversation from scene to scene is all paced at around the same tempo. I could hear this grand Baroque ceremonial music playing in my head as an accompaniment through the entire film. Unending, exhausting, driven unto death.
Fortunately Schanelec gained my trust early. This is a patient, understated and deliberate film....an exquisite one at that. The sparse dialogue is key to the visual splendor. "I’m a believer, but my god doesn’t help me." "How do you know?" "He doesn’t give me any strength. Either he doesn’t give it, or I’ve driven him off." "You can’t drive him off." "Perhaps I’ve done something wrong….relied on him too much."
PC. In one scene, one of the characters has a book open in a poem entitled "The form that can't be writen". Exactly like the writing presented here, without an idiosyncratic form, which, in fact, Schanelec only has at the level of themes' and characters' writing, similar between films. The form written here is borrowed and never achieves its own way. "Marseille" is still her best written film.
Quietly solid filmmaking. Measured, rhythmic, longer takes set the film's precise pace from the opening shots, so that even while you’re still wondering if it feels a bit contrived/over-stylized, it's already pulled you in. And to where? Where did we go? I’m not sure. But I knew while I was there... Some wordless human empathy; sensuous & poignant. An ambitious, artful, compelling, skillfully made & well acted film.
Somehow imprints a deeply felt sensation of intimacy and complexity while hardly divulging much of anything. Space and mood are constructed according to the tenor of whichever new character holds the frame. Even though narrative is all but evaporated here, what remains is a spare, yet precisely realized arrangement of passing moments and sensory fragments that speak to the strange paths life can take one down.
In my humble opinion, Angela Schanelec is among the greatest directors of our times. She exquisitely balances her discourse and artistic vision with those of the masters of the past, managing to present an equilibrated, 'lightweight' but not superficial, picture of Life. Humans' gestures and emotions are surrounded by an halo of innocence, purity, sanctity, and, inevitably, mystery.
Interesting that these films are shown at the same time as a Sirk series as they could be seen as melodramas without the music and drama! Whilst I enjoyed the others I have seen, this one left me cold just like the characters in the film and I think that was the problem. They didn't seem like real people and so this film lacked the charm of the others.
Realy really too formal , too straight. the director seams to follow a pattern to enter contemporary art world : very long untalked scenes, frozened actors, "special compositions", sadness every where . Finally makes this film sound non human ; why if the purpouse is treating about humanity.
MUBI's "take" promises "Bressonian fragmentation," but stops short of calling it like it is: w/ THE DREAMED PATH, Schanelec has comprehensively assimilated the formal sublimity of the master. The movie feels like a cross between FOUR NIGHTS OF A DREAMER and THE DEVIL, PROBABLY (w/ which it shares the slightly uncommon ratio of 1.37/1), but w/ the networked sensibility of L'ARGENT. More than I would ever dare ask for.