Thursday, February 25, 2016

Brief thoughts on Wake (Subic) (2015) MOMA Doc Fortnight 2016

Epic look at the US Military in the Philippines and the environmental damage it's presence has caused on the country and the population. It's a devastating and exhausting film that will leave you feeling shell shocked.

The weight of untold history presses down on the audience from the screen in John Gianvito’s WAKE (SUBIC), not only from it's length, the film runs just under five hours, but also from all the information given to the people in the seats. There is simply way too much to take in and process in such a concentrated period. The film is a crash course on US military misdeeds and environmental destruction.

I am going to be honest here and say that if you are interested and can sit for five hours by all means go when the film plays the Museum of Modern Art this weekend. The film is a real kick in the ass and it brought forward a huge amount of stuff I never knew and never suspected. It also drove home the human cost of the American bases.

At the same time I'm not going to lie to you and say that I was able to sit and take in the film in one go. Seeing the film on the Festival Scope Pro service I was able to pause the film several times over two days in order to let what I was seeing filter in to my brain. There were times where I felt that I was losing the thrust and I stopped the film for a while to regroup.  I suspect that had I seen this at MOMA I might have bailed at intermission because of feeling overwhelmed.

As I said above if you feel the urge absolutely go see the film and make of it what you will.

I know that is an odd way to leave this "review" but understand the film is one that has been sitting with me for a couple of weeks now. I've been sitting on this review for a while and haven't been able to really put some thoughts down beyond go see the film.  Things were complicated  because before attempting to write up the film I felt I should find and try Gianvito's earlier companion film  VAPOR TRAIL (CLARK). I found it on You Tube and I started to watch it, and it blurred things and expanded things to the point that there is a longer piece in the pipeline that takes a look at both films, history and its fall out. I have much to say but I have to find the words to do so. (This is one of those times where the need to be timely about a films release or appearance runs counter to actually being able to write the film up the way it deserves to be.

The film plays Saturday at the Museum of Modern Art's Doc Fortnight. For tickets and more information go here.

No comments:

Post a Comment