The Forsaken Land (2005, Vimukthi Jayasundara)

I insulted Katy’s rental choice at the video store so as retribution she rented us a slow-as-dirt, pretty-as-a-picture Sri-Lankan film. Being There would’ve been better, but I was in enough trouble already so we watched this instead, each one of us bored but assuming the other was enjoying it.

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The guy in the pink shirt is a security guard. He has an elder co-worker, whom he is possibly forced to kill at the end. He’s stripped naked and tossed in the lake by some buddies. He has a bored wife and a restless sister, one of whom is below.

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And here is an outhouse.

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Long static takes, pretty shots, disaffected post-war characters who don’t relate to each other. I fell asleep but I think I got the general idea. Movie won the Camera d’or at Cannes, and the DVD helpfully includes the whole press book as a PDF file. Interviews with the director are very convincing… besides the fact that he’s illustrating modern interpersonal disconnection, and I am getting tired of movies about mopey people who don’t talk to each other which claim to be commenting on the present human condition, he sounds like he really knows what he’s talking about without being arrogant, admits a Tsai Ming-Liang influence (I’d been wondering), and from his description this sounds like a film I’d really want to see. Maybe under better conditions next time.

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