The Nine Muses (2011)
Average Rating: 6.4/10
Reviews Counted: 14
Fresh: 10 | Rotten: 4
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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 4
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 3
Average Rating: 2.5/5
User Ratings: 61
Part documentary, part personal essay, this experimental film combines archive imagery with the striking wintry landscapes of Alaska to tell the story of immigrant experience coming into the UK from 1960 onwards.
Oct 7, 2011 Wide
Icarus Films - Official Site
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A fragmented but highly engrossing cinepoem on the related subjects of migration and exile, isolation and memory.
Themes don't develop so much as they endlessly repeat, nor do they gain much through extended duration. It fails to engage either the intellect or the senses.
The result is not without beauty, though at a certain point, one begins to notice that each new muse rather resembles the previous, a uniformity that restrains the film from true symphonic swell.
Nine Muses is clearly the work of a talented filmmaker, and there are many moments to beguile the ears as well as the eyes. Yet it's a long slog through a few thousand years of myth and history, and most viewers are likely to grow impatient.
It's as if Akomfrah is trying to make mythological connections and undo or deny them at the same time - an alienating and misguided strategy.
Engaging and pregnant with ideas, although some of the juxtapositions work better than others.
Much of this is majestic. But a thought kept fidgeting in my head. Do we need quite so many dead white males singing the tragedies and trials of the black experience?
Spoken word, music and imagery come together to create moments of transcendent beauty. Wise and rather wonderful.
More like a cinematic poem or art installation than a movie, this swirly collection of imagery - some new, some found - loosely traces the nine muses from Greek mythology. And it's for adventurous filmgoers only.
It's a demanding, high-brow watch, yet ably conveys the rootlessness and dislocation of the immigrant experience.
The Nine Muses could've been a bravura and rigorous display of erudition and editorial showmanship that's all structure and portent, but this film, which Akomfrah has said he's wanted to make for 20 years, has an obsessive power.
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