Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.
USA, 2013. Screenplay by Godfrey Reggio. Cinematography by Graham Berry, Tom Lowe,Trish Govoni. Produced by Maria Campione, Phoebe Greenberg, Jon Kane, Penny Mancuso, Godfrey Reggio, Lawrence Taub. Music by Philip Glass. Production Design by Chad Kali. Film Editing by Chris Besecker, Jon Kane.
Godfrey Reggio has been wowing audiences with his highly experimental and deeply beautiful visions for decades, showing with this work that thirty years after Koyaanisqatsi he has no desire to mellow out. Rather than seeing the world at high-speed as has often happened in previous films, Visitors examines human presence on earth by slowing everything down, a series of absorbing, lush images of human faces peering directly at the camera with some beautifully shot locations interspersed. Audiences not up for the experimental nature of the project will be turned off, but while the film is high concept and little else, it is never actually boring. I’m sure there’s deeper meaning to find in his visual connections if you’re up for the challenge, the experience bathed entirely in the relentless grandeur of a musical score by Philip Glass, but the crisply beautiful black and white photography, all shot in 4K for superb definition, never fails to dazzle, and the examination of the multiple levels of expression is quite extraordinary.
Toronto International Film Festival: 2013