Two narrators, one seen and one unseen, discuss possible connections between a series of paintings. The on-screen narrator walks through three-dimensional reproductions of each painting, ... See full summary »
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A parody of anthropology, linguistics, and cultural imperialism. The film follows an unlikely team of linguists into the wilds of an ersatz Patagonia to study the last speakers of a dying ... See full summary »
difficult, cerebral and oblique film dealing with Catholic issues
I found "La Vocation suspendue"/Suspended Vocation (1978), the earliest feature from Raoul Ruiz that I've seen thus far, very, very difficult and at times completely incomprehensible -- I really think one has to have some background in or knowledge of Catholicism to fully appreciate it, and clearly though the visual aspects of the film are important, the religious themes are at the heart of it; it is unquestionably a film about something, a film that is dealing intellectually with a subject, but in an oblique enough way that if you start out more or less at ground zero (as I did) it will be hard to take anything away. The black and white photography elements (courtesy of one of the world's greatest cinematographers, Sacha Vierny, in his first collaboration with Ruiz) were quite striking though, and at times it gave off a very Bressonian feel.
This was Ruiz' second French feature and the first of two films based on novels by Pierre Klossowski, the other being "Hypothesis of the Stolen Painting." Probably worth a 6/10 for interest, and I suspect that I'll get more out of it on a second viewing after doing some homework. It appears on an indispensable Blaq Out 2-disc set with the much more accessible and entertaining "Hypothesis" and "Three Crowns of the Sailor." DVD rental
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