15 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Boring for art's sake?,
This review is from: Archipelago [DVD] (DVD)First, two disclaimers: I am a fan of many 'arty' films, including many on the Artificial Eye label, and I love Tresco and the Isles of Scilly, where Archipelago was filmed. On paper this should have been my ideal film - an art house piece set on my favourite place in the world, and I looked forward to it with huge anticipation.
This film was a huge let-down on every level.
Words can hardly express my disappointment, but let me try: this has to be the most boring film ever made - the landscape, the set and the characters are all underused to a criminal degree and the 'story' is so thin as to be non-existent. The lack of a story could be excused if there were any other redeeming features, such as interesting characters or a strong sense of time, place or other atmosphere to revel in but there was nothing.
It is difficult to point a camera at Tresco or anywhere on the Isles of Scilly and fail to take an attractive picture but, somehow, the director managed to make one of the most beautiful places on earth look drab - but not drab in an interesting way like the moors of Wuthering Heights - just drab, which is incredible given the location.
Doubtless it is highly post-modern to avoid both obvious beauty and a story and perhaps I am being too old-fashioned but, it seems to me at least, that if you take away everything and leave nothing in its place then what is the point?
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Showing 1-9 of 9 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 11 Dec 2011 22:22:46 GMT
Paul, I could not agree more. What a truly appalling film.
In reply to an earlier post on 23 Apr 2012 11:36:15 BDT
Thanks, Paul - couldnt have expressed it better myself! VERY disappointing. And I'd had such high hopes after a great review on Film Weekly. Perhaps if we'd had a bit of background on why the characters weren't getting on it would have helped a little, but there seemed no rhyme nor reason. Yup, Tresco's off my list now!
In reply to an earlier post on 23 Apr 2012 13:31:55 BDT
Paul White says:
Rachel - don't take Tresco off your list - it is truly beautiful, as are all the Isles of Scilly and I would recommend anyone to go there if you get the chance!
Posted on 30 May 2012 16:09:30 BDT
C. Baldock says:
Before I decide to see this film and say whether the review was helpful to me, do any of you like Mike Leigh set pieces or Curb Your Enthusiasm which the Daily Telegraph's Tim Robey said the main scene in the film stands comparison against. He says the film is tremendous and often excruiciatingly funny. Are you missing something, despite the poor shooting of the scenery, or will I feel I've lost out financially if I buy it?
In reply to an earlier post on 30 May 2012 16:24:44 BDT
Paul White says:
I like Mike Leigh films but am not too bothered about Curb Your Enthusiasm. IMO this is no Mike Leigh film. Having said that, perhaps I simply don't 'get it'. You are obviously tempted to give it a go but only you can decide whether it is worth the financial risk! If you do I would be interested to hear your view.
In reply to an earlier post on 31 May 2012 08:08:02 BDT
Sorry. Havent seen Curb Yr E., but like Mike Leigh's films.
In reply to an earlier post on 17 Nov 2012 00:00:09 GMT
Mike Leigh`s films are lively, well-made, brilliantly acted & interesting. This travesty is none of those things.
Posted on 22 Aug 2013 13:09:31 BDT
Last edited by the author on 22 Aug 2013 13:12:17 BDT
John Wrong says:
What an awful review. Anyone that uses the term "arty" is undermining their argument before they've even begun. What does that awful suburban word mean?
I think 'Archipelago' is a small masterpiece of a film. The setting on Tresco lends it a suitably unusual atmosphere - at once timelessly British but at the same time somehow claustrophobic. Johanna Hogg also chose it because it's a place she knows very well. It's not supposed to be some sort of travelogue. Your comment about it avoiding "obvious beauty" ("Highly post-modern" suggests you don't understand post-modernism) is so very strange to me. The film is chock full of beautiful shots.
And of course it has a story. Perhaps it isn't hammered out in lines of obvious plot points the way that TV soap operas work, but Joanna Hogg is reaching for something far more subtle. As in her earlier film 'Unrelated' this is a slow-burning and delicate dissection of an English middle-class family that explodes with a psychological force rarely seen on screen. No killings, no guns, but an extraordinary emotional power. It is definitely not for fans of Mike Leigh's glum slapstick and I don't quite see any direct connection with Larry David other than that very vague 'theatre of embarrassment' label that is bandied about by reviewers that can't think of anything else to say. And they are supposed to be humorous - 'Archipelago' is not a comedy but will make you wince at the beautifully observed hopes and fears and self-deceptions of it's characters. I felt as though I was living with them in that house.
Oh and far from putting me off, I'd love to visit Tresco to find out if it's as moody and atmospheric as this film makes it appear.
Posted on 22 Aug 2013 15:29:18 BDT
The ***** and * reviews are pretty evenly disposed here. I don`t think this is a film its lovers & haters will ever agree on. To me it was, bar none, the worst waste of time I`ve ever had in a cinema, so much so I can`t imagine what anyone could see in it. I`ve never felt quite this way about any other film. Even the direst rom-com or a mess like Mamma Mia has moments one can enjoy. For me, this had none, none at all.
But, as I say, we`re never going to agree, are we?
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