Manufactured Landscapes is possibly the dullest, most painfully boring movie I've ever had to endure. This is saying a lot. I've sat through a LOT of awful movies. Hell, I've seen about half of the Friday the 13th flicks, which I'm pretty sure is illegal in most of the civilized world. And this "documentary" trumps them all for sheer self-indulgent, self-important tripe. Normally, if a movie is bad enough, it takes on a certain quality, like that of a train wreck or a dead deer on the side of the road. You watch in awe, disgust, or even pity, as nature and God exact their powers upon something so pitiful. These are thoughts I can get when I have to watch pure horseshit like Pearl Harbor or White Chicks. Manufactured Landscapes goes so far past anything remotely thought provoking that the experience of watching it is like that of being forced to sit and look at white noise, with the volume of the "kssssssssssh" blared on surround sound (actually, I would perfer the "ksssssh" to the actual soundtrack of the movie, which must consist of the same three droning notes endlessly, rumbling along, making my ears hurt). The movie is about the photography of...some guy. Don't remember his name. Not important. Anyways, he has taken a lot of very wide, huge-in-scope pictures about, well, manufactured landscapes. These pictures can possibly evoke thoughts about poverty, about the misuse of industry in China, etc. etc. But what does the documentary say about these events, or even about his photo's? Who the fuck knows. The movie never takes any stance or makes any point. It simply shows. Endlessly. It shows us the sort of places and occurances that happen within the man's photo's, but a) none of these are interesting, b) none of these are original or innovative, and c) they are filmed so ineptly, so exhaustively pedantic, so pedestrian in every level of it's making, that it lulls you completely to sleep. I am not ashamed to say that I fell asleep in this movie. Several times. How many, you may ask? I'd say, roughly, 20. I haven't fallen asleep more than once in maybe, like, 2 movies before. But this movie was so sleep inducingly horrible, that I conked out on more than one occasion in the middle of the photo class this film was shown in. Take the first shot, for instance. It's a one take dolly shot, where the camera slowly moves down and down and down the long corridor of an assembly line factory. No music, dialogue, voice overs, nothing like that is heard. The camera simply dollies along, and along, and along the factory, until blessedly it all ends. How long does this take? Approximately 8 minutes. 8. Freaking. Minutes. It took the director 8 mother fucking minutes to show us something that could've been presented with just as much effectiveness in about, oh, 20 seconds. The arrogancy of this film is simply astounding. And people buy into it. When the film was over, many people in my class actually liked it - or at least, they said they did. "Visually stunning" was a phrase tossed around more than once. You've gotta be kidding me. Nice camera angles doth not a good movie make. Movies, even documentaries, need a point. Some sort of story. Some sort of reason for existing. This film says nothing and does nothing, but takes a shocking amount of time to do this in. I don't ask that all films need to be entertaining. Hell, look at Ingmar Bergman's resume, littered with incredible works of art that are very difficult to sit through and not entertaining in the least. But I do think that if you're going to make someone invest 2 hours of their life, you need to give them something other than pretty pictures to look at (and even this ideal is debatable - I think the photographer was very average). Manufactured Landscapes is the equivalent of looking through a photo portfolio, but instead of being able to flip to the next page when you're done analyzing a photo and have extracted all that can be taken from it, the photographer forces you to stay at that page and keep looking at the one photo for another 10 minutes. It's agonizing. It's painful. It's completely unnecessary. And those adjectives, along with all the others I've been hurling in this review, very accurately describe the experience of this garbage documentary. Do yourself a favour and skip over this movie at all costs. Go out and see documentaries that are just as much a work of art, but can be inspiring, uplifting, important, shocking, thought provoking, heart breaking, and even entertaining. Go out and see Gates of Heaven, or Hoop Dreams, or Deliver Us From Evil. There's so many amazing documentaries out there. Don't make the mistake of sitting through this one.