Apparently I had been missing out on an epic film when this movie was announced as a film that would be watched in class. It was a film that was shot at a higher resolution than even the most new films that are released today. Besides that however, it was a film that was shot with no dialog and captured video from all over the world. It sounded like it would be less a film for entertainment and more a film about the world we live in. That definitely peaked my interest as it reminded me of something like Planet Earth or NASA’s Voyager missions. It is not your typical Hollywood cash cow.
The whole film is accompanied by a very mellow music track and sounds from the local ares that were filmed. What this does is force the viewer to really concentrate on the video being presented. There are no distractions when analyzing the different people in the film or the environments they live in. It also allows the viewer to think about and process the overall message of the film, mostly free of influence. By this I mean that the film doesn’t do TOO much creatively, but instead films un-tampered scenes of life from the world we are part of. Because of this I think that it allows viewers to come up with many different opinions about the content shown and remind us that the world is much bigger, more diverse, and full of beauty and ugliness both natural and man made.
My favorite part of the method described is that I was actively forming my own ideas about the message the film was trying to send which would change every few minutes. Some of the contrasting views in the film were of nature vs. the modern world and Earth vs. man. Scenes highlight the realities that people today live their lives and die in boxes, people are always rushing from one thing to the next instead of enjoying life, people are too busy to take care of others much less the Earth, and that these things haven’t been improving with time. The way we live comes at a cost and living in a more “first-world” environment isn’t necessary to live a fulfilling and enjoyable life. The director spends a lot of his time focusing on the patterns found in the jungles of nature and the jungles of concrete most of us live in today.
Besides that, the film was a great choice for class because of all of the technology and techniques used in the filming of it. I already mentioned the large film format (which I later learned was transferred to 8K for a re-release) which did a great job capturing the different shots. There were a lot of wide angles and close-ups throughout mixed with time lapses and slow motion. When it comes to the art vs. entertainment argument, this film definitely falls into the former category.