vivid, visual, sparse

I don't think I've seen a movie with this little dialogue since 2001: A Space Oddyssey. For some reason I keep thinking of The Searchers. This is a voyage for the eyes and ears.

Broad, expansive views of desert scenery. Long, rolling shots and scenes. Vivid. Incredible and distinct palletes. Heavy use of time lapse filming. The crunch crunch crunch of step after step after step after step...

This film is a welcome slap in the face for modern, action saturated movies in America. I have no doubt many people will dislike this movie, for it's long winded scenes and incredibly sparse story line, but if you can manage to sit still long enough to understand what you are getting into, I think you are rewarded.

The movie was shot and written in series, while filming. There was no script. It was cowritten by Director Gus van Sant, and actors Matt Damon and Casey Affleck. It was shot using 35mm.

Damon and Affleck set out on a short day hike to see "the thing". After some release and rethinking, they turn back. A few poor choices later, they find themselves lost in the Arizona (?) desert. Initially, there is some light hearted humor and you find yourself in disbelief of the charaters' reasoning skills. But already your being distracted by the broad shots, the power of the surrounding nature, and the interludes of pure scenery shots that seem to have been produced by an odd Board of Tourism somewhere.

The movie continues on. and on. It and the characters begin languishing, and you begin to wonder if some of the audience members will be leaving soon. At this point you've either given up, or you start opening your mind up a little and try to enjoy what's unfolding. I fell into the later category. Although I'm still unsure if I care for the ending, overall I enjoyed the film and think it was visually stunning.

Of special interest are the salt flats, the injected rapid motion car shots, and the entire confusion scene.

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