Leviathan: New York Film Festival 2012

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New York Film Festival 2012: Leviathan

New York Film Festival 2012: Leviathan


During the inky predawn hours, a boat off the coast of New England hoists wriggling fish from the sea, hungry gulls flapping overhead. As captured in this impressionistic, dialogue-free documentary, the sight is murky and mysterious: a half-submerged record of churning muscle, bloody carnage, and ancient tensions between man and sea. The filmmakers, Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel, are Harvard-educated experimenters who like to strip the natural world down to its essence. They don’t pass judgment on the fishing industry, nor does the movie fall into the common trap of beautification. (If you’re having seafood for dinner, eat beforehand.) Rather, the attempt is to reach for something primordial—amazingly, the film often gets there. Be adventurous and try it.—Joshua Rothkopf

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