I really didn't like this film until the last 10 minutes. It follows two PhD students who fall in love and film every last Goddamn thing they do while living in Venice. It makes them seem selfish and incredibly full of themselves, and when these two really are the entire film, that's not a good thing. Then tragedy strikes, and the films intensely real and vivid portrayal of grief won me right over.
Interesting film from Majewski that finds a couple, both working on their thesis when meeting, having to deal with one's terminal disease while completing a joint film project in Venice. A meditation on art, making love and death follows. Claudine Spiteri is an arresting presence on film but male lead Chris Nightingale fails to impress.
Love and dying and Hieronymus Bosch. Or, the beautiful folly of trying to apply our drives to capture, analyze, deconstruct, to subjects beyond their reach. The film seems to suggest, instead, the primacy of something more experiential. (Which could explain why I enjoyed watching it despite simultaneous intellectual reservations.) +1 for the immersive intimacy created by the (artful) 'home movie' style filming.
"Hell is unavoidable and is found within all of us. Because we have eaten the fruit of the tree of knowledge, not to differentiate between good and evil is impossible now. The best we can do is to ignore the differences and to enter into the Garden of Earthly-Bliss. Like those who have abandoned all worldly possessions and are naked, in love, in a garden where there is no torture or killing or suffering."
That the narrative seemed at first to be a mere novelty, the "reality" document, played with me until I saw through to what the film is truly about: the obliteration of mortality by the reproduction of life and death, an expression of longing's withering in an age preserved by information. The film is as much a portrait of a Beatrice as it is a refutal of a Paradise--the double life of longing.