Shooting against the staggering beauty of the Moroccan landscape, a director abandons his own film set, descending into a hallucinatory adventure of cruelty, madness and malevolence. A Paul Bowles story combined with observational footage forms a multi-layered excavation into the illusion of cinema.
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The Sky Trembles and the Earth Is Afraid and the Two Eyes Are Not BrothersDirected byBen Rivers
What starts as a behind the scenes look at a film being shot in the Atlas mountains (Oliver Laxe's "mimosas") evolves into a strange adaptation of a Paul Bowles story in this experimental work from director Ben Rivers. Both beautiful and macabre this is a work both radical and enthralling. Well planned and full of beautiful moments with pristine camerawork by the director himself. Not for every taste but should be.
Rivers has collected, in the manner of a wanderer or sage or both, a series of images climaxing w/ one which speaks for all of them, as well as the undertaking itself. Cribbing from Paul Bowles (and certainly reflecting a degree of self-criticism), Rivers is looking at those who go into the heart of darkness in search of treasures or transcendence. There is a kind or sham tourism that leads to a destiny in indignity.
From 42nd min unparalleled violence, an hallucinated nightmare. The dazzling heat of the sun vs the iced darkness of men. Our civilization & theirs cant merge, Islam doesnt compromise, it enslaves. = Dès la 42ème min 1 violence inégalée, 1 cauchemar halluciné. La chaleur éblouissante du soleil face à la noirceur glacée des hommes. Notre civilisation & la leur ne peuvent fusionner, l'islam ne transige pas, il asservit
Sweet baby Jesus, how bad was that? The backstage idea lamed even further the pretentious and tasteless carmina burana (?) evaluation of ethnographic indiscretion (first world condescending pity?). That modern joker is western cinema... rattling away.
A typical filmmaker of film festivals and of a particularly hateful niche, the movies which under the designation of "art-and-essay" or "experimental", only reveal an attitude and a pose. Notice that I'm a particularly dedicated viewer of that kind of cinema, but not of the fraudulent inventory of its ways - a matter of opinion, of course.
Although I can't say the synopsis and trailer appealed to begin with; what a disappointment. To think it was not long ago he directed one of the finest works in cinema (spell) and this may be in my least favourites of all time. The only praise is for including Nadja in the soundtrack. Reminds me of a mix of Serra's Waiting for Sancho during the first half, and after mixed with La cicatrice intérieure, finisterrae.