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Filmspotting Message Boards => Movie Talk (Spoiler Edition) => Topic started by: valmz on May 05, 2018, 12:42:59 AM

Title: Zama
Post by: valmz on May 05, 2018, 12:42:59 AM
I caught this today in limited release and found it intriguing...

Iím a fan of all of Martelís films, and all in completely different ways, which is a feat in and of itself. This film is no different. One thing that stood out in this film relates to the previous films: I have heard from others how uniquely talented Martel is in sound design, but I hadnít noticed this trait until this film. Itís apparent in two ways, to me: The film has a great variety and density of sound, sure, but more importantly it uses sound as a primary and sometimes sole method of creating surreal or uncanny or confounding moments, from repeating phrases to strange noises creeping in to pure dimensionality - all against a typically static camera, often with somewhat standard close-ups. Normally when a film generates such bizarre tones and moods it is the camera and editing that leads, and the sound either accompanies or is ignored. Here, with a closeup on an actor and a bizarre, unexplained sound offscreen Martel creates a claustrophobic sense of wanting to know what is not shown, but granted nothainít. At other points, though, the audio isnít as pronounced an element, or the techniques vary, which somewhat diluted the overall effectiveness of the first two-thirdsí atmosphere. The content of the scenes, along with some bizarre camera setups and character behavior filled the gaps to some extent, but I still wasnít totally sure what the tone was. The final third is far more clear and the editing and camera movement becomes more typical of such a bizarre setting, though in this kind of film thereís always a wide range of style and content to experiment with and the film succeeds in delivering a hugely disorienting, discomforting, and fittingly absurd ending, worthy of the Kafka comparisons I have read. Bizarrely lovely, or lovely bizarre film. Not for everyone, but certainly for me! Give Martel all the moneys she needs for more films, please!
Title: Re: Zama
Post by: pixote on May 05, 2018, 11:49:16 PM
I twice had plans to see this and twice had those plans fall apart (most recently because The Rider left me too restless to attempt a double feature). Maybe tomorrow.

Title: Re: Zama
Post by: valmz on May 12, 2018, 01:11:44 AM
A fascinating piece by the English-language translator of the novel. (
Title: Re: Zama
Post by: Will on May 12, 2018, 09:17:51 PM
I thought this was pretty boring. No narrative thrust, so it just kinda plods along. Love Martel so it was a pretty huge disappointment.

A few good themes but the narrative does nothing with them. A shame.