Leviathan

"OK"

Leviathan Review


More an experimental art installation than a documentary, this film is mesmerising visually but so abstract that we often aren't sure what we're looking at. And the filmmakers give us very little information, never telling us, for example, that it was filmed over a week-long fishing trip off the coast of Massachusetts. While the ship's crewmen get equal billing with the fish and birds. In other words, it's deeply pretentious, but also rather darkly beautiful.

This is sensory filmmaking, compiling scenes shot on a trawler as the fishermen reel in their nets, sort out their catch and clean the fish while scavenging seagulls swarm around them like flies and waves crash into the side of the boat. Much of this is shot at night in long close-up takes that look at details like fish parts sliding around the deck or a lone seaman smoking a cigarette while watching an unseen television. We occasionally hear burly crew members talking in the background, but we never learn anything about them.

Filmmakers Castaing-Taylor and Paravel deployed 11 cameras in this project, passing them between themselves and the fishermen, and even attaching them to seagulls. So the imagery is remarkably off-beat, with the grisly blood-soaked deck contrasting against swelling waves that contain jellyfish or starfish. Most dazzling are the shots in which lights shine up into the sky reflected back by the flickering flocks of hungry birds. Accompanying all of this are the sounds of sloshing water and the creaking ship.

But there isn't even a hint of a narrative. The movie is just a series of visceral images carefully edited together into an epic visual poem. And without anything to link it together, and nothing to engage our brains, it feels like it goes on forever. Indeed, it's probably better suited to being played on a loop in an art gallery. But if you can keep yourself awake, the film has a hallucinatory quality that will appeal to fans of surreal artwork and arty cinema.

Rich Cline



Leviathan

Facts and Figures

Genre: Documentaries

Run time: 98 mins

In Theaters: Friday 17th March 1989

Box Office Worldwide: $15.7M

Distributed by: MGM Home Entertainment

Production compaines: Filmauro, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Gordon Company

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 14%
Fresh: 3 Rotten: 19

IMDB: 5.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Verena Paravel

Producer: Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Verena Paravel

Starring: as Steven Beck, as Dr. Glen Thompson, as Elizabeth 'Willie' Williams, as Justin Jones, as Buzz 'Sixpack' Parrish, as Cobb, as Bowman, as DeJesus, as Martin

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The BFG Movie Review

The BFG Movie Review

For his adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, Steven Spielberg reunited with screenwriter Melissa Mathison,...

Finding Dory Movie Review

Finding Dory Movie Review

It's been 13 years since the release of the Disney/Pixar hit Finding Nemo, and filmmaker...

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

This is where the Star Trek franchise officially shifts from thoughtful drama into thunderous action....

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

With its fifth feature-length adventure, this franchise continues its preposterous journey at full tilt. As...

Keanu Movie Review

Keanu Movie Review

An entertaining hybrid of satirical comedy and action thriller, this madcap adventure swerves wildly between...

Ghostbusters Movie Review

Ghostbusters Movie Review

It's been more than 30 years since the Ghostbusters first hit the big screen with...

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

While the original 2013 magical caper was a big hit, it's style-over-substance approach didn't exactly...

Advertisement
The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

It's been nearly 30 years since the last live-action Tarzan movie, and yet it still...

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

A New York comedy with vivid characters and a contrived plot, this feels rather a...

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Nearly 25 years after the sitcom debuted, Edina and Patsy arrive on the big screen...

Central Intelligence Movie Review

Central Intelligence Movie Review

After teaming up with Will Ferrell for Get Hard and Ice Cube for two Ride...

The Colony [Colonia] Movie Review

The Colony [Colonia] Movie Review

Based on a true story, this Chilean drama has a chilling edge to it that's...

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Two decades is a long time to wait for a sequel, especially one starring much...

Elvis & Nixon Movie Review

Elvis & Nixon Movie Review

This movie is based on a real meeting between Elvis Presley and Richard Nixon in...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.