Sunday, May 28, 2017

Apocalypse Slowly

Just a quick note to say- guys, I watch a lot of garbage. A lot of shlok. A lot of 'so bad it's good but really it's bad.' I don't know. Why I gravitate to shlok is a complicated question... I used to be such a discriminating film nerd.

And yet...Somehow THE QUIET EARTH (1985) made its way to the top of my Netflix queue. I don't know what prompted me to add it to the list, but I'm glad I did. THE QUIET EARTH is pretty much my ideal science fiction flick. For a low budget-ish film the acting, effects and music are all absolute perfection.

The story: a man who wakes up to find he's the last person on earth. Hardly a unique conceit. But this man (played to perfection by Bruno Lawrence, who also co-wrote) is uniquely qualified for life on his own. He's a scientist with lots of practical engineering skills. The film takes its time following Lawrence and his exquisitely expressive sad sack face as he goes through the stages of devastating loneliness. And then... let's just say the movie is sort of about a love triangle, but it's so much more than that. The dialogue is minimal, the story is sort of... hinged on a flimsy scientific premise. No matter. It's rare to see a movie so tightly scripted and beautiful to watch and confident enough to leave some of its big questions hanging. And of course, anything shot in New Zealand is a treat for me.

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