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Visitors is Paranormal Activity for eggheads

Staring Contest

Visitors: “Please, God, let me receive a ‘Featured Human’ credit.”
Visitors: “Please, God, let me receive a ‘Featured Human’ credit.”

Godfrey Reggio uses precisely 74 shots to tell his story. With only four behind me and 70 left to go, the film’s thesis was already stated and its conclusion long foregone. Do I grab a coffee refill in the lobby and hunker down or head straight to the parking garage?

Walking out is seldom an option, and when my right to make an early exit is exercised, it’s generally during something I never should have stepped into to begin with. Reggio, purveyor of fine coffee-table movies that he is (Powaqqatsi, Koyaanisqatsi), is an acquired taste I have yet to acquire. His documentaries are the stuff domed IMAXes are made for, not multiplex art houses.

Visitors intercuts black-and-white, dialog-free, unbroken, close-up ’Scope long-takes of faces — with allegorical inserts of abandoned amusement parks, disjointed hands moving a computer mouse (or is it close-up magic?), enough accelerated clouds to make one time-lapse into a coma, and children as credulous symbols of hope.

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Visitors

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Purveyor of fine coffee-table movies Godfrey Reggio (<em>Powaqqatsi, Koyaanisqatsi</em>) brings us a highfaultin' technical exercises that asks the question, "Since humanity spends so much of its time staring at a computer screen, why not turn things around, situate the audience inside a laptop, and force them to look out? The result is a series of black-and-white, dialogue-free, unbroken, close-up 'Scope long-takes of faces intercut with allegorical inserts of abandoned amusement parks, disjointed hands moving a computer mouse (or is it close-up magic?), enough accelerated clouds to make one time-lapse into a coma, and children as credulous symbols of hope. It’s Paranormal Activity for eggheads, a staring contest during which my eyes practically bled from focusing on so many fixed images for such long periods. The camera takes aren’t the only thing Reggio sustains. Wait until you get a load of the great lengths he goes to state the obvious.

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It’s Paranormal Activity for eggheads, a staring contest during which my eyes practically bled from focusing on so many fixed images for such long periods. The camera takes aren’t the only thing Reggio sustains. Wait until you get a load of the great lengths he goes to state the obvious. Wouldn’t the point be better taken in a story that unified people as opposed to the cold, splintering effects of a clinical drill? At least he had the wherewithal to use a tripod.

According to this highfalutin’ technical exercise, since humanity spends so much of its time staring into a computer screen, why not turn things around and situate an audience inside a laptop and force them to look out. Why would anyone disrespect a viewer enough to want to trap them inside a computer for 87 minutes?

Reggio should have cut it down to seven minutes and allowed his Film Tech 101 class to lounge in the brilliance, not clog art-house arteries with its pretense. What one critic referred to as “a tedious Rorschach test” has forever cemented a black spot in my heart as, quite simply, one of the worst movies ever made.

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Tennis with François Truffaut and Donal Logue

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Visitors: “Please, God, let me receive a ‘Featured Human’ credit.”
Visitors: “Please, God, let me receive a ‘Featured Human’ credit.”

Godfrey Reggio uses precisely 74 shots to tell his story. With only four behind me and 70 left to go, the film’s thesis was already stated and its conclusion long foregone. Do I grab a coffee refill in the lobby and hunker down or head straight to the parking garage?

Walking out is seldom an option, and when my right to make an early exit is exercised, it’s generally during something I never should have stepped into to begin with. Reggio, purveyor of fine coffee-table movies that he is (Powaqqatsi, Koyaanisqatsi), is an acquired taste I have yet to acquire. His documentaries are the stuff domed IMAXes are made for, not multiplex art houses.

Visitors intercuts black-and-white, dialog-free, unbroken, close-up ’Scope long-takes of faces — with allegorical inserts of abandoned amusement parks, disjointed hands moving a computer mouse (or is it close-up magic?), enough accelerated clouds to make one time-lapse into a coma, and children as credulous symbols of hope.

Movie

Visitors

thumbnail

Purveyor of fine coffee-table movies Godfrey Reggio (<em>Powaqqatsi, Koyaanisqatsi</em>) brings us a highfaultin' technical exercises that asks the question, "Since humanity spends so much of its time staring at a computer screen, why not turn things around, situate the audience inside a laptop, and force them to look out? The result is a series of black-and-white, dialogue-free, unbroken, close-up 'Scope long-takes of faces intercut with allegorical inserts of abandoned amusement parks, disjointed hands moving a computer mouse (or is it close-up magic?), enough accelerated clouds to make one time-lapse into a coma, and children as credulous symbols of hope. It’s Paranormal Activity for eggheads, a staring contest during which my eyes practically bled from focusing on so many fixed images for such long periods. The camera takes aren’t the only thing Reggio sustains. Wait until you get a load of the great lengths he goes to state the obvious.

Find showtimes

It’s Paranormal Activity for eggheads, a staring contest during which my eyes practically bled from focusing on so many fixed images for such long periods. The camera takes aren’t the only thing Reggio sustains. Wait until you get a load of the great lengths he goes to state the obvious. Wouldn’t the point be better taken in a story that unified people as opposed to the cold, splintering effects of a clinical drill? At least he had the wherewithal to use a tripod.

According to this highfalutin’ technical exercise, since humanity spends so much of its time staring into a computer screen, why not turn things around and situate an audience inside a laptop and force them to look out. Why would anyone disrespect a viewer enough to want to trap them inside a computer for 87 minutes?

Reggio should have cut it down to seven minutes and allowed his Film Tech 101 class to lounge in the brilliance, not clog art-house arteries with its pretense. What one critic referred to as “a tedious Rorschach test” has forever cemented a black spot in my heart as, quite simply, one of the worst movies ever made.

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Comments
2

No q's in the title either. Fuggitaboutit!

March 6, 2014

Just plenty of squat.

March 6, 2014

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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