Leviathan, Andrey Zyagintsev, 2014 (Russia)
Watching it on a smallish screen, I felt like I was squinting the whole time. This was made for the big screen, I could hardly focus, my eyes hurt. The story was grim, a mechanic likely to lose his land, a beach side town, a corrupt nasty mayor, an angry son, a harassed woman acting as a stepmother. I got the hard work, I got the misery, I got the squalor of wrongness, I got the men's uneasy love affair with guns, and the women's acquiescence. A weird shooting party scene, a desolate location, the men shooting at tin cans, the women making food, the discovery of a love affair. But I learnt nothing about anybody or anything in this film. I think it was probably gorgeously shot. Maybe on the big screen the cinematography balances the subject matter. A wonderful scene, though, of a woman standing on a cliff, and a whale in the sea below. Something unbelievably big emerging.
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