Angela Schanelec is a film-maker whose cool and mysterious refusal to render up that means within the standard sense has defeated me in the past, and her new film is equally as opaque and enigmatic: an array of puzzle items whose form shifts even because the viewers wonders how or if they need to be fitted collectively. It’s a movie that doesn’t proceed within the narrative model and the title appears to counsel that we should always consider it as a special artwork kind solely: a constellation of themes, concepts, tropes, moods by which the personae relate to one another as ideas quite than characters.
Whereas unable truthfully to say to have understood it, I’ve to concede the film’s artistry, its conviction, even its brilliance. Schanelec is accountable for a film-making language which compels consideration, though there’s something strenuous in the best way the movie seems to be exhibiting us the important thing to some locked cupboard of significance however received’t fairly allow us to use it.
Music proceeds in a sequence of stark and startling tableaux, starting on a scorching, dusty Greek island and ending on the cloudy streets of Berlin, usually shot from mounted digicam positions, exhibiting individuals confronting one another in a state of unsmiling wordlessness. Violence and self-harm are recurring concepts, together with the vulnerability of youngsters. A determine is seen carrying what’s presumably a corpse. A child is rescued from rubble. A automotive with teenagers nearly crashes. New characters are launched. We appear at one stage to be in jail.
Lastly a younger girl throws herself from a rocky ledge, simply as a lizard is nuzzling her ankle: a poignant contact. When the scene strikes to Germany, this girl’s accomplice is revealed to be a musician, recording a plaintive track – and actually his face, whereas singing, comes the closest anybody right here will get to smiling. Music is the movie’s dominant theme: characters sing to themselves, as if in a dream or a trance.
Music is a problem; it’s advanced and demanding. This isn’t some streaming-TV-type content material to be consumed. Some will discover it rewarding and a few received’t; I actually am not sure. However as an occasion and a spur to thought it’s to be welcomed.