Part documentary, part personal essay, this experimental film combines archive imagery with the striking wintry landscapes of Alaska to tell the story of immigrant experience coming into the UK from 1960 onwards.
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This film is exemplary for my thinking that people have to stop thinking in frameworks. So often have I read negative comments on the film because people don't understand the coats. Well, do we need to? The Nine Muses is a fantastic documentary, very poetic and truly compelling. A brave, and yet for me successful representation of people's journey.
Perhaps I viewed The Nine Muses from a terribly uncultured perspective, but I found this film almost unbearably pretentious at times - if you're going to attempt to express an experimental and non-linear narrative, at least make it engaging. However, the cinematography is absolutely breathtaking, and is the only feature that kept me from pressing the 'Return' button.
I found this a disappointment. The central conceit of using Homer's epic as narrative voice (along with quotes from every other set text you can think of from a bog standard English Litt course) rather irksome as it constantly interrupted any momentum from gathering via the occasional instances of smart editing involved. Although maybe they were going for some kind of Beckett cyclical purgatory? Who knows...
Brilliant in that it challenges modes of documentary representation: is the result as insightful as it could have been? Metaphoric combinations are over—stirred, yet the underworked structure can't be forgiven on bravery alone. Just doesn't extend out of a beautiful, though complacent, wash.
Enjoyable with a literally epic scope drawing in the classic literary odysseys in a mythic method to look at British immigrant experience. Sadly it doesn't shed a great deal of light on this, and the Alaskan imagery while beautiful seems gratuitous. Lovely though!
Beautiful camerawork, beautiful texts but, to my great despair, the piece in its whole did not manage to grab my full attention. Is this the fruit of a rough day or due to the nature of the works, I'll never know.
You have to match stride with the pace of this film; or perhaps it might be better to say that you have to allow yourself to be buoyed as if floating on the ocean. My take on the parka wearing watchers in Alaska is that they stand out, almost alone, against the vast, strange, pure white background. Just like many of the people coming to England in the 1960s.
visionary stuff, an absorbing blend of poetry, imagery, history, literature, music, theatre, the sum of which is spellbinding cinema of the highest order. A rare beast in the sense that a film of such art and beauty has such a clear, eloquent message