Sunday, 18 October 2015

LFF REVIEW - THE SKY TREMBLES AND THE EARTH IS AFRAID AND THE TWO EYES ARE NOT BROTHERS (BEN RIVERS)


Is it just me? Am I too set in my ways, too fixed in my thinking? Are my thoughts and opinions on art, any art whether good or bad, legitimate? How is it that I might sit through something so keenly composed as Ben Rivers' The Sky Trembles and the Earth Is Afraid and the Two Eyes Are Not Brothers and resent every moment of it? I care not for its aesthetic beauty, since it seems to serve no purpose beyond prettiness; I care not for Rivers' portentousness, since it seems to suggest that there's profundity in the prettiness. Am i not as open-minded as I'd like to be, closed off to alternative forms of expression if they don't express anything to me? I've seen films like The Sky Trembles before, indeed even from Rivers himself, and witnessed the exuberance with which they've been greeted, often with terms such as 'transcendent' and 'groundbreaking'. This film communicates nothing to me, and is thus of very little effect upon me; close-minded or not, I can't enjoy it, and can't recommend it - to do so would be a true sacrifice of the legitimacy of my opinion. Rivers explores the exploitation of the landscape and the people of Morocco, himself exploiting these things in that knowingly 'ironic' manner that is so very grating. He also explores the illusion of cinema and of creating it, though to what extent he develops this notion beyond a few perfunctory debunks early on went way over my head if it even extended further. That's where Rivers loses me completely - even if The Sky Trembles is every bit as transcendent and as groundbreaking as its self-satisfied, phony strains in the way of art insist it is, it never succeeded in convincing me. Maybe it is just me. But it's just me writing this review too.