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While director Godfrey Reggio's filmmaking style has lost some of its initial thrill, Visitors finds him returning to his familiar milieu with customary élan.
All Critics (52)
| Top Critics (23)
| Fresh (36)
| Rotten (16)
| DVD (1)
A graceful, dreamlike experience.
With only 74 slowly unfolding shots, it's closer to gallery installation than conventional cinema, but for audiences open to the experience, it's inexplicably compelling.
Non-narrative films can be opaque in deep ways. Visitors slips into pseudo-profundity. That said, I'd see it again.
We get the point, and have gotten it since 1982. And aestheticizing it in this way doesn't make the message any more convincing or urgent.
Reggio has talked about his movies as attempts to bypass the intellect, a "visceral form of cinema" that's "aimed at your solar plexus." But you may experience "Visitors" as more of a sedative than a punch in the guts.
"Visitors" restores a sense of monumentality to a medium that has seemed so diminished by recent technological and commercial imperatives ...
While that unknowing used to invigorate me to scour resources and get to the heart of the art itself, I now merely shrug as I move on to the next new thing.
This is a slow moving film, but it does have a few abrupt cuts. There are some striking images in this film. This is mainly for contemplative people who have patience, and for fans of Godfrey Reggio's films.
Entrancing, reminding of a thought-provoking media art exhibit exemplifying the antithesis of Hollywood moviemaking.
Visitors will work for some but fall short for many, it is an experiment in filmmaking that attempts something new but ultimately fails.
Staring at "Visitors," not only do many things seem unusual, many more seem familiar, paralleled by other artists.
The score, by Philip Glass, adds to the off-kilter mood and the faces of a serene gorilla, and a moody child in a playground, prove especially absorbing.
Although, as one reviewer has noted, the film is more installation than movie, it does have some mesmerizing quality that keeps one engaged longer than one would have imagined. That length of interest does not extend to the length of the piece however. As I finally tired of it my thoughts were: "I'm not high enough for this work. If I was high, I would've watched all of it."
Shots of faces, followed by shots of buildings, then more faces, and sometimes hands or landscapes, all set to a rich minimalist score by Philip Glass. Now, in theory the human face is infinitely fascinating in its singular expressiveness, and this visual/musical experiment from the director of KOYAANISQUTSI has clear artistic heft; yet, like most people, I was bored.
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