Majewski is often written off as an 'museum installation' or 'high art' director with comparisons to Barney and the more challenging elements of Greenaway, but this film along with the later 'Mill and the Cross' prove he has an unique voice and vision. Precisely constructed and melded with a libretto score by Majewski and composer Jozef Skrzek with memorable cinematography by Adam Sikora (use of mirrors and windows).
A masterpiece of its kind. Every frame is a 'tableaux vivant' on its own. No wonder the director went on doing The Mill and the Cross. Also, the music was beyond wonderful. From what I've seen Majewski is truly an artist par excellence.
Majewski, upon seeing the sad state of modern opera, was so moved to intervene on the medium’s behalf that he dropped everything to write & score his own. Only much later, after a failed staging, was it reconceived for film. The result is a conceptually dense & challenging 90 minutes, rich, if approaching overwraught, with symbolism & evocation. Something like Can Xue's work, made beautiful. Strange & rewarding. 3.75
Wow! I was worried that though I loved the premise I wasn't feeling the film viscerally. I needn't've worried, by the summer sequence I was hooked. The fauna! The fawn! A wonderful reminder that no other art form can capture the entirety of what life is better than cinema. We are, at our best, such an amazing community. I feel completely satisfied & humbled. 4.8, only because maybe the libretto was superfluous.
Really torn about this. In the first 15 minutes it's utterly transcendent. The poetic excess of the music, though, would have had to remain the only poetic excess. Unfortunately the visual elements are just too much, the allegory too heavily symbolic, and they somehow cancel out the power of the music and everyday scenes. At its best though, the blank walls and silent faces of the family just reverberate into space.