|It begins in a fog and then gets wonderfully clear|
Playing as part of the New York Film Festival's Avant Garde series Costa de Morte is something wonderfully unexpected- a hypnotic journey into a landscape.
A series of long takes of the land and seascapes around the are know as Costa de Morte, the film becomes something akin to standing at a distance and just taking a break to look at the landscape.
The film begins in a fog shrouded forest as we watch some men cutting down trees. The shots here run a very long time and I was afraid that the whole film would be as seemingly static and long as this sequences, however its not long before we are by the sea, in the villages and mountains and despite being at a distance, getting to kow the people. The reason we learn about the people is because mixed with the natural sound we hear the sound of several conversations of what could be the people we are seeing in the image. The result was truly wonderful experience.
How good is the film? Typically with the Avanat Garde films I see people leave the screenings never to return. This time, outside of one gentleman who I knew couldn't stay to the very end, anyone who left hurried out and hurried back. This is a film that kept it's full audience of jaded critics to the bitter end.
If there is anything remotely like a flaw its that the film ends four or five times before actually ending. What I mean by this is that in the final ten minutes or so there are several times where if the film would have ended it would have been perfect. Instead it continued on to another ending and another until when it finally ends it feels as if it's going to continue on. Its a minor flaw but nothing that should stop you from seeing this film.
Playing as program 3A at the festival on several dates beginning Thursday, Costa de Morte is worth making the effort to see on the big screen especially if you are patient.
One of the finds of the festival