10 March 2007 | dan-795
There's good and bad here.
This was a VERY long and unusual movie. For me there were things to like and things to dislike. Despite its length, and at times its boredom, I did find myself compelled to watch the whole thing. It was a fascinating study of an old artist rediscovering his talent, and a young girl opening up to herself through modeling for him. That's the part I enjoyed. The lengthy scenes of the artist plying his trade were clearly done so to communicate the time and tedium involved. And it worked.
But you won't find any of the trappings of Hollywood here to help you with understanding the movie. There is no music - zip, nada, none. No sound effects, no special effects of any kind. No dramatic camera angles or quick cuts, the camera work and the sets were very plain and individual shots lated for minutes at a time. And there was even precious little dialog. When conversations occurred, they were short, often cryptic, and filled with innuendo, leaving one to figure out what was meant.
So what was left? The acting. This film relied solely on the abilities of the actors to convey everything. As such it could have easily been produced as a play - although the audience would have had to been issued No-Doze on the way in.
Did it deliver? Yes and no. As I stated, it portrayed the journeys of the artist and the model quite well. But, where it fell short was the delivery of the main plot. The painting was supposed to be this powerful thing that could change people's lives. People were warned to be careful. But in the end, what came across to me was that these were a bunch of self- absorbed people that didn't have any real problems to worry about so they blew all this stuff about the painting and artist way out of proportion. They were selling it, but I wasn't buying it. Maybe I'm jaded and need more of the Hollywood "support" system" of music, lighting, etc., but the intensity of the central plot just didn't come across for me.
After investing all that time, at the end I was left thinking, "Is that it?" I don't think it was a complete waste of time, but I couldn't really recommend it to anyone.