The Forsaken Land (Vimukthi Jatasundara) 52? – I had to walk out of this one to make my screening of Mary, so I missed the last five to ten minutes, but unless the film became impossibly good (which at least one person has assured me it does) I think this rating’s pretty close to the final one I’ll have when I get to catch that ending.
Set in an extremely remote section of Sri Lanka, this Cannes prizewinner examines the ways that its scattered residents cope with living in what might best be described as a wasteland. Laced throughout with remarkably evocative landscape photography, the movie constantly pauses to watch as characters cool themselves off with water or pause to feel a passing breeze. Whether by having furtive sex or trying to forget themselves by wandering around aimlessly, the characters are always trying to push away the anxiety that the war-torn environment causes. It’s a movie that focuses tightly on seemingly insignificant experience, and in doing so captures a state of mind that flourishes under this particular kind of pressure.
Ratings only for now:
Mary (Abel Ferrara) 67
Isolation (Billy O'Brien) 42