Two Years at Sea Reviews

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Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews
August 14, 2013

Fascinating study of a self-sufficient man living with nature somewhere in the wilds of the Aberdeenshire forest.

Full Review | Original Score: A-
Noel Murray
The Dissolve
August 6, 2013

Rivers' use of older camera equipment gives Two Years At Sea the look of an old piece of film that's been left behind by a long-gone civilization, capturing the last man on Earth, and showing how he made use of all the old junk society left behind.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Ben Sachs
Chicago Reader
Top Critic
November 21, 2012

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.

Nick Pinkerton
Village Voice
Top Critic
October 16, 2012

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.

Nicolas Rapold
New York Times
Top Critic
October 11, 2012

Thoreauvian self-sufficiency or classical pastoral engagement with nature and its creatures takes a back seat to the company of objects, trees and music.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Keith Uhlich
Time Out New York
Top Critic
October 9, 2012

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.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Tomas Hachard
Slant Magazine
October 5, 2012

The stillness and silence with which we look upon Jake Williams ranges from curious to unnerving to fascinating.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Philip French
Observer [UK]
May 5, 2012

It's a contemplative film, and most members of the audience are likely to be contemplating how they can get out of the cinema without appearing to be philistines.

Gail Tolley
The List
May 4, 2012

In a world where 'sharing' our lives has become the norm there is something wonderfully honest and uplifting about seeing a life which unfolds, for the most part, whilst no one is watching.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Anton Bitel
Eye for Film
May 4, 2012

repeated, often prolonged images of Williams napping also unavoidably bring home the film's soporific effect on the viewer. If the protagonist can sleep through his own feature, why shouldn't we?

Peter Bradshaw
Guardian
May 3, 2012

Quietly enigmatic, valuable work.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Dave Calhoun
Time Out
Top Critic
May 3, 2012

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.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Vadim Rizov
Little White Lies
May 3, 2012

A remarkably lyrical and ideologically cohesive doc-fiction hybrid.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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