Gambling, Gods and LSD



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Time Out says

In which Peter Mettler - cinematographer (for Atom Egoyan among others) and experimental film-maker - takes us on a three-hour distillation of a trip he took from Toronto, by way of Monument Valley, Las Vegas and Switzerland (whence his family hailed), to India. He generally lets the voyage itself dictate the precise contents of his essay, but tends to focus on the themes of transcendence, living with danger, denial of death, and our relationship to nature. If the resulting film sounds a little pretentious (even before you find out it runs to three hours), fear not: it is - just a little - but it's also compelling, exhilarating, funny, imaginative and... well, wise. It's that rare thing, a genuinely philosophical film, and presents a fascinating gallery of folk with plenty to say about what makes them happy, what they want, what they believe: the junkies, the Baptists, a sex boffin, a man who keeps his wife wrapped in a scarf, the molecular theorist, the businessman. But then there's Mettler's camera, cutting, sound and music too, providing pertinent visual and aural commentary, counterpoint and argument. Just as one astonishing rave sequence arouses suspicions that the subjects are being objectified, for example, up pops a chemist to explain why we may not be individuals and how that might affect our view of death. Images, ideas, rhythms and juxtapositions are made available in such a way that you're encouraged to find links for yourself: pylons, bungee-weddings, aliens, nuclear silos, carnival, surveillance, borders, bacteria, Bollywood, dreams, dildos, dance, drugs... and water, water everywhere.

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