Feature – France / UK Première
Nicolas Rey / France / 2012 / 81 min
Based on Günther Anders‘ 1931 novel, The Molussian Catacomb, Nicolas Rey’s differently, Molussia is a 16mm message of political despair with a narrative that attempts to transcend distance and time, as the artsy sequences and images used are not rooted to one society.
It’s fair to say that Rey’s film is something of a slow burner. Split almost into chapters, he explores various issues and themes raised in Anders’ novel while using expired stock footage to add a sense of authenticity. The narrated shots are beautifully simple, focusing on landscape and the traces of labour used to maintain and preserve it. But this isn’t enough to justify the film’s duration. Though generally short for a feature, the narrative is too patchy – the only dialogue coming in the form of passages from the book. At times, it’s highly repetitive, using nature sequences to hold up the ideas and concepts coined in such an outwardly anti-fascist novel. Rey does well to create an aged aesthetic as he clings to history and longs for beauty, but in doing so has alienated some of his audience in what appears to be a fairly introverted realisation of a worthy philosophical text.
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