Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Mill And The Cross




The Mill And The Cross

Directed by Lech Majewski



From a purely visual standpoint, The Mill And The Cross is one of the most beautiful films I've ever seen, though sadly it does not boast enough content to match the visuals.

We have all seen hundreds of book adaptations in our lives. Many of us have also seen our fair share of movies adapted from comic books, short stories, TV shows, and even video games. Rarely do we come across an adaptation quite like this. Although technically adapted from the novel of the same name, much of the films content (largely the visuals, which make up most of derives from a painting -- Pieter Bruegel's "The Way To Calvary".

Being such an uncommon film -- both in content and in presentation -- The Mill And The Cross proves to be quite difficult to rate, and subsequently review. With minimal dialogue, little-to-no action, and featuring some of the most unusual set pieces I've ever seen, it very much reflects the purely aesthetic nature of the painting from which the source material was derived. Few characters retain any amount of screen-time, and between these, only a few words are spoken. Much like a painting, this could easily be viewed without any volume, and the experiment would only be slightly detrimental to the overall viewing experience.

Featuring some of the most brilliant, vivid cinematography in recent memory, this movie really must be seen to be believed. I was unsure throughout the entire movie of what scenes were shot on-site, on sets, or simply edited onto pre-existing still images. This style proves quite effective, and the end result is indescribable.

By this point, I'm sure you're quite aware that there is little to be found in this movie apart from sheer visual artistry. To those of you who are more action-oriented in your film taste, be sure to keep this in mind, because despite being quite an intriguing motion picture, effectively nothing "happens" in this movie. But if you are one of those rare few who desire nothing more than an entirely unique, one-of-a-kind viewing experience, look no further. Witnessing the beauty of a great painting being brought to life is truly a sight to behold.

No, not many people will like this movie, and yes, it is a very slow film to watch. But if you're patient and willing to risk the time required to watch something unlike anything you've ever seen before, The Mill And The Cross may prove to be one of the most strangely rewarding movies you've ever seen.
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