Friday, August 13, 2004
-----------------------Belated Film Reviews
Time of the Wolf (Michael Haneke): 7.5/10
Caught this on a critic's pick month at Kavalidere Cinema in Ankara. Had expectations for it and was let down a bit. It shares a premise with any natural disaster film where people end up jumping on each other's throat after a while--the only difference is the viewer enters while the unravelling is in progress. The film partly relies on its surprising beginning scene for its strength and this characteristic weakens it at the end. It doesn't go as deep into the crevices of human behavior as it should, despite its realistic tones, and the ways in which people unravel soon become predictable. There is also a lengthy scene which borders on horror movie-ish a la Blair Witch, with no valuable insight.
What scene am I talking about? Scott Tobias has a different take on the same scene in an Onion review:
"As ever, Haneke's capable of conjuring some astonishing images, including a bravura sequence that plays out in darkness, save for the flicker of a torch made of hay. At its best, the film sustains the heightened tension of great science fiction, dropping in on a frightening new world that's just this side of familiar."
I don't take it well when disorientation is used to conceal an otherwise bland engagement.