Author Topic: Northfork  (Read 885 times)

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« on: March 05, 2004, 01:09:06 PM »
I don't usually go off on a rant about movies, but I just rented and watched the Polish brothers' "Northfork".  I was somewhat interested in the movie from the trailers when it was in the theater - the cinematography, lighting, and compositions looked beautiful.  And it's true, the movie is monumentally beautiful to look at, but it's AWFUL in every other way.  I am also not usually one to pull out the time-worn style-over-substance criticism, but this movie is a textbook case of art direction run-amok.  So much effort was put into the look of the film, but the story is so boring, the acting is terribly unengaging, and just when I thought the movie reached its slowest point, it just got SLOWER.  And slower.  And this is coming from a fan of Andrei Tarkovsky, who's movies crawl at a snail's pace and often reach the 3 hour mark.  But no matter how fussy Tarkovsky got over long shots, camera work, art direction, lighting, his characters were human, real.  I found it impossible to connect emotionally with anything that was happening on the screen during Northfork.  The whole thing was vacuum-sealed and completely devoid of feeling.  Every single shot and edit and line of dialogue seemed to be a desperate, arrogant, pretentious attempt by the filmmakers to scream "look how smart and clever we are".  The film is ostensibly a tragedy concerning people who are being forcefully evacuated from their land to make way for a hydroelectric dam, but I didn't feel for any of them.  I couldn't care less about these people.  The antagonists were bland, the protagonists weren't sympathetic.  And the whole angel story was a weak attempt at Wim Wenders-style biblical symbolism.  I just kept waiting for something of importance to happen, and nothing ever does, just shot after shot of fussily crafted images that added up to nothing.  I just kept thinking, "who's the audience for this thing?  Why were these guys given money to make this pretentious mess?  This money could have been better spent building housing for the homeless or feeding starving children."  It seemed like all the worst film school cliches were confirmed 24 times a second for 2 hours.  Downright awful.


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« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2004, 01:10:58 PM »
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol

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