4 April 2005 | adnixon
Even non-Catholic movie buffs will enjoy this superbly directed film
I'm in Italy, the pope just died this weekend (April 2005) so Italian TV showed 'From A Far Country' late last night. I'm not remotely interested in the pope, and I'm not Italian, so I couldn't understand the dubbing, but I nevertheless stayed riveted to this movie because of the stunning cinematography and subtle special effects that gave the images such an extraordinarily documentarily accurate and overwhelming sense of period time and place. From the apparent ages of the principal actors (Sam Neill, Chris Cazenove etc) I was able to guess that the movie was made in the early eighties, though the clever period look of the film and its imaging effects suggested 21st century digital processes, so it was a real puzzle to me who had made it, perhaps some classy 80's director like Hugh Hudson, with a 2005 makeover from ILM, or perhaps the guy who shot Schindler's List, or even Edgar Reitz. But no, turns out it was all the work of some Polish director I'd never heard of. Bravo Krzysztof Zanussi! Anyone interested in making period, historical movies of ostensibly dry subjects should definitely take notes from this guy. Even the back-projected Vatican crowd sequence about halfway through, although looking obviously fake, is nevertheless so well done that one suspends not only disbelief, but also criticism. Rent this movie and watch it with pleasure - It's a delicious visual treat and one heck of a cinematography tutorial!