Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Mad film noted

Hard to Be a God review – mud, blood and holy hell | Film | The Guardian

This film seems to be in the category of "so bizarre, it might be worth seeing":
This monochrome dream-epic of medieval cruelty and squalor is a
non-sci-fi sci-fi; a monumental, and monumentally mad film that the
Russian film-maker Alexei German began working on around 15 years ago.
It was completed by his son, Alexei German Jr, after the director’s
death in 2013. If ever a movie deserved the title folie de grandeur
it is this, placed before audiences on a take-it-or-leave-it basis:
maniacally vehement and strange, a slo-mo kaleidoscope of chaos and also
a relentless prose poem of fear, featuring three hours’ worth of
non-sequitur dialogue, where each line is an imagist stab with nothing
to do what has just been said....

It is set in what appears to be a horrendous central European village of
the middle ages, as imagined by Hieronymus Bosch, where grotesquely
ugly and wretched peasants are condemned to clamber over each other for
all eternity, smeared in mud and blood: a world beset with tyranny and
factional wars between groups called “Blacks” and “Greys”. In the midst
of this, what looks like an imperious baronial chieftain called Don
Rumata, played by Leonid Yarmolnik, walks with relative impunity: this
sovereignty is based on his claim to be descended from a god....

Each shot is a vision of pandemonium: a depthless chiaroscuro
composition in which dogs, chickens, owls and hedgehogs appear on
virtually equal terms with the bewildered humans, who themselves are
semi-bestial. The camera ranges lightly over this panorama of bedlam,
and characters both important and unimportant will occasionally peer
stunned into the camera lens, like passersby in some documentary. 

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