Posts Tagged ‘Rainer Sarnet’

“NOVEMBER” My rating: C+ 

115 minutes | No MPAA rating

“November” walked away with top cinematography honors at last year’s Tribeca Film Festival, and just minutes into this Estonian production you’ll understand why.

This is one astonishingly beautiful movie, a black-and-white evocation of a ghostly, semi-primordial past filled with haunting images. Director of photography Mart Taniel has created a visual masterpiece.

In other regards “November” is a rough slog.

Based on the book by Andrus Kivirahk — the biggest-selling novel by an Estonian writer in the last two decades — the film unfolds in a rural community in what appears to be the early 19th century. It’s a world of unwashed peasants, decaying hovels, mist-shrouded landscapes and everyday interactions between humans and the supernatural.

The novel was less a fully plotted story than a series of vignettes revealing the life (and afterlife) of a particular neighborhood over the course of one wintry month, and in transferring the narrative to the screen writer/director Rainer Sarnet has been unable to provide an emotionally engaging through story.

The film is a collection of sometimes arresting moments, but after a while the weirdness gets a bit numbing. In this regard it resembles the bizarre efforts of famed Chilean cult director Alejandro Jodorowsky (“El Topo”).


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