Tuesday, April 4, 2023

THE MAIDEN (2022) New Directors New Films 2023

Destined to be divisive, THE MAIDEN is film you are either going to love or hate. The story of a young man dealing with the unexpected death of his friend, this is the very epitome of inde art film.

Shot on 16mm with long takes and long silences this is a film you either connect with or squirm in your seat. It’s a film where everything is so low key as to be under our feet. Things don’t always instantly register with the death that flicks in motion the last hundred minutes being a “wait what?” moment. The boys walk up a hill in the twilight, there is a scream as a train passes,(and passes, and passes) as the survivor just stands there. Several moments and shots  later we see him crying, and only then do we realize what happened (I mean he doesn't react to the death). It doesn’t have a strong narrative thread. Much of this is simply people wandering around as if we get moments in a life, but while there is an order to them they reality don’t connect, or they didn’t for me.

I suspect that the film wants to say something about banality of life but I’m not sure if that’s here.  There is only banality and not life.

I suspect that fans of art films, especially low budget ones that are from the slow cinema genre will eat this up, but I think everyone else will find this hundred and twenty minutes long feature hundred minutes too long.

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