Friday, April 24, 2020

Two Tribeca shorts about photography: ECHOES IN THE ARCTIC and UNNUR

I know Ariela already reviewed this but I wanted to throw my two cents in.

Stunningly beautiful documentary about the partnership between scientists and photographers to record information on the orca (killer whale) population in the Norwegian Fjords. It seems the oil company wants to use methods for finding and drilling for oil that would harm the whales and their food.

The amazing and haunting images in this film should be seen, on a huge screen if possible since they make you connect with the animals before you.  The images will change the way that you see the whales and life, and if you want proof that the stills and moving pictures taken of the whales moved people that the Norwegian government went from allowing the drilling to declaring the fjords protected sites.

A stunner.

Portrait of Elli, an Icelandic photographer, surfer, and kayaker who changed the way he interacted with the world once he was in a kayaking accident and had a child.

Visually amazing film is kind of a mess narratively. This 18 minute film spends the first half of it having Elli musing about being a father ans whether he is doing the right thing in how he is raising his daughter (she is the Unnur of the title). The problem, and it is a huge problem, is that if you don't know who he is going in you're really not going to have any idea why he is speaking this way or why you should care.  Imagine if someone walked in off the street and just started to talk to you about a random subject. It maybe interesting but after a while you'll stop them to ask who they are and why are they telling you this.

To be honest the long lag time would have worked in a feature but not in a short where the philosophical dad talk overwhelms the contextual portion of the film. There is a good film in the material, I just wish that this was better crafted in such a way to show it off.

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