3.5 - Imaginative, captivating, and featuring someone with a physical disability (more of that is needed to represent them in works of art), The Whalebone Box is all about the experience and getting yourself submerged in its dark deep waters. The soundtrack is melancholic yet dark, the imagery based on archival footage fits the box so well. One of the best Macguffins in film history by far.
Blending together various images and sounds, fiction and non-fiction, the past with the present, the film plays around with structure without being able to convincingly convey anything profound or meaningful. More interesting is the blend of unique characters that are presented throughout the film, captured in unusual ways. The Whalebone Box works best as an affectionate celebration of a ragtag band of artists.
Not for me. I have no framework to approach this from. Frankly, I found parts of the film disturbing. It was like seeing and hearing something I wasn't meant to be exposed to. That was only sometimes. The rest of the time two old white guys talked shite about this recalling that and "earth batteries" and healing and other bollocks. Maybe I know nothing about avant-garde art, or maybe this is a waste of 83 minutes.
Potentially one of THE most annoying pretentious and inane things I have had the misfortune to watch on MUBI, and I know that is saying something (considering some of the other films I have endured on here). The dialogue, whether being made as a statement or just in conversation between people, is inane on a level I haven't heard since I was 16 years old at parties involving my friends, cheap cider, and grunge music.
some interesting ideas and arresting visuals. But I find this kind of experimental cinema works for me better at short format rather than feature length - I had to watch it in three instalments. And I always found Sinclair's novels obscurantist, (deliberately?) impenetrable, intellectual posturing and, quite frankly, pretentious. Now I know what the audio-visual equivalent looks like
Bill Drumond’s 45 wrapped in the Joe Frank Radio Hour with Ivor Cutler mashed by Adam Curtis. Initially sceptical from reviews the found footage / public service broadcasting / Betamax cut style of this is mesmerising. It’s a document from a different age - John peel, the orb, steven Jessie Bernstein, Julian cope came to mind. Pre-digital and beguiling. I can understand people not liking it but I was utterly taken.
Some very beautiful images - especially amongst the birch woods. I was unconvinced by the hesitations and questionings - they didn’t succeed in yielding a “strange consciousness” out of confusions, as noted in the good closing remarks. It was a little overridden by cliche - especially regarding woods. Unexamined re gender: a man narrates women & woods: ugh! Worried re the sleeping woman: bullied? Ventriloquised?
I apologise but I thought this was dreadful, I think I must lack the intelligence to appreciate it. It was terribly tedious, pompous and seemed very pleased with itself about being very intellectual. I watched The Blood of the Poet the day before, a film which also seeks to work beyond narrative. This was far better. There was a moment when some French rap came on the sound track, which I enjoyed.
A poignant, mesmeric study of meaning-making, part wild imagining, part farce. Kotting spotlights, often tenderly, the randomness of human communication. The way we just string stuff together, with no real clue what anything means, neither alone nor collectively. Things mean whatever we make them, we must find and decide for ourselves. That is the only real freedom there is in this world, would seem his implication.