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.
Watching it in the era of Twitter does make "Level Five" feel like a distant lamentation on the failure of technology - indeed of cinema itself. It's a record of the questions we once asked, and how we essentially already lost the fight.
Audience Reviews for Level Five
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.
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