Level Five (2014)
Level Five (2014)
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Critic Reviews for Level Five
A poetic if occasionally opaque film essay on the 1945 Battle of Okinawa.
Like every other film Marker made, it's an exemplary and resonant address on the life of the mind and the life outside of that one.
"Level Five," a passionate and cerebral science-fiction adventure ... belongs equally to the past, the present and the future.
A richly digressive, provocative meditation on the cross-currents of technology, engagement with history and wounded national identity ...
By using Laura as an avatar, Marker actually helps us see the visuals and their knotty meanings much more clearly.
Audience Reviews for Level Five
While researching Battle of Okinawa for a computer game (I learned that from a description of the movie, not from watching the movie) our protagonist, Laura, learns things and has thoughts. Some of those things are interesting. A few of the thoughts are.
With his hybrid film "Level Five," Chris Marker rambles on more than usual, especially the segments involving Laura(Catherine Belkhodja).(If anyone can tell me what the toy parrot is supposed to symbolize, I would appreciate it.) But once he finds his focus, he really gets on a roll, even anticipating the rise of the internet and Clint Eastwood's masterful diptych "Flags of Our Fathers/Letters from Iwo Jima," while warning about the temptation to rewrite history. The particular bit of history that Marker is obsessed with here is the Battle of Okinawa, the last battle of World War II and one of the most fatal ever, especially as applied to civilian populations. As he points out, the Japanese military authorities sacrificed this distant province in the hope that it would deter the Americans from invading. Instead, Marker claims it led directly to the dropping of the first atomic bombs. I disagree. I think the Americans would have dropped them anyway on Japan as they felt they had to show off their shiny new toys to the Soviet Union.
Another failure from an otherwise reputable director. This had some good ideas like the William Gibson quote in the intro sequence, but Marker's decision to just film a woman sitting at her desk talking about her computer is just stupid. It's as if he forgot everything he learned about imagery and narration in "San Soliel" and "La Jette", and so makes us suffer with this below amatuer quality documentary. The digital effects, from 1997 look like they came from 1982. "Wax Or The Discovery Of Television Among The Bees" is better in every way. I dont usually like to trash a film without providing an alternative, so try "Wax" if this subject interests you.
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