Two Years at Sea (2012)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
Ben Rivers renewed his relationship with Jake Williams, a man living in a decrepit house in the Scottish Highlands who had served as the subject of his earlier short film, This Is My Land (2006), in this feature-length exploration of solitude and the present's slow crawl into the future. Situated squarely within what seems to be the perfect environment for his sensibility and temperament, Jake goes about his daily routine across the four seasons in the near-complete absence of any human ties, with Rivers's camera functioning as the lone connection between him and the world beyond his self-imposed isolation. -- (C) Anthology … More
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Critic Reviews for Two Years at Sea
The first feature-length effort by noted experimental filmmaker Ben Rivers demonstrates such mastery of the image that it's worth seeing for the textures alone.
The imagery has all the solemn ravishment of Béla Tarr's similarly darkening The Turin Horse with none of the epochal portentousness, while Rivers's work owes more to Billy Bitzer than most gallery art contemporaries.
Thoreauvian self-sufficiency or classical pastoral engagement with nature and its creatures takes a back seat to the company of objects, trees and music.
Moments feel like a profoundly harmonic convergence between man and nature, though mileage will vary from viewer to viewer as to whether this singularly eccentric movie is ultimately illuminating or enervating.
It begs one question: can a man being filmed day and night really be tagged a hermit? But, then, that's our tag, not the film's. Tricky, this film, tricky.
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