The hypnotic rhythm of a freighter’s pace reveals the continuous movement of the machinery devouring its workers. Perhaps it is a boat adrift, or maybe just the last example of an endangered species with engines still running, unstoppable.
The cinematographer of stunning films such as Oliver Laxe’s Mimosas, Mauro Herce took home Locarno’s Jury Prize with his directorial debut. A work of eerie beauty and apocalyptic grandeur, this meditative, sensory sci-fi journey across the sea seems to simultaneously expand and suspend time.
Eerie landscapes and the desolate, alien sights/sounds of an industrial freighter at sea, turned into haunting disembodied abstractions. It's something like an atmospheric immersion (best on a big screen); and if it asks our participation, it repays in spades; seeps in, to our intuitive sense of knowing - which is empathy-in-general - so that, before we ever meet these men, we know the tone of their thoughts... 3.75
more proof that contemporary cinematographers are more talented than their directors, some of the most beautiful images i've seen in a film, but more importantly this is a film which films people working
[Review] 80/100 - Dead Slow Ahead (Mauro Herce, Spain)
Through long takes, Herce leads us through a rather incredible journey, with never a feeling of stasis in spite of its constant feeling of presence.
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DEAD SLOW AHEAD perhaps intends to be slightly more seamless and contained than it in fact is in its combination of a kind of observational documentation (often drab, mundane) w/ a kind of bravura psychedelic photographic alchemy. I cannot be alone in being primarily wowed here by the stuff that aggressively reaches out to patently wow you. Yes. Of the truths on display here, I am more amenable to the ecstatic ones.
Slowly assembles a cinematic universe composed of images of arresting visual poetry and a soundscape of spectral moans, disembodied mechanical rhythms and atonal siren calls which unfold according to an associative internal logic of their own, regardless of the conventional concerns of character and plot development. A gradual series of evolving atmospheres, ponderous, oherworldly and enthrallingly affecting.
breathtaking clouds and water; haunting industrial ports. on the boat the karaoke, maps, and belly of the ship are provoking while the shots of pipes are expected. formally well done but nothing suprising
Some lovely scenes but disconcerting as they are often cut awkwardly together. It's true some of the scenery looks otherwordly because you have no compass to know where you are -- or what is really happening.
This movie is simultaneously mesmerizing and nauseating in the Sartrean sense. The cinematography, combined with audio that adds to the sense of being isolated within a floating island of pipes and machines, filled me with despair even as I couldn't turn away. It is disconcerting to be aesthetically pleased by shots of refineries and the inhumane interiors of ships of unbelievable size. Gave me a sense-giddy dread.