Friday, 15 April 2016

Homo Sapiens, Nikolaus Geyrhalter

(imageTimothy Allen)

The work examines progress without retrogression. It is dark with hints of romanticism, inert yet stimulating. There is plenty of otherworldliness but familiar icons are abound.


Goya's luster might shine on Lavier's car installation here, but minus the stunt. The whole scene throws perplexing questions to the mind, rather than light so to say. Undisclosed in the film, it is a mysterious car grave, manifested itself in an abandoned mine in Gwynedd, Wales.


Among others, the waterlogged imagery is equally indelible. If Ansel Adams were to celebrate nature, Geyrhalter would question our relationship with it.  Hurricane Sandy in 2012 provides such lead for the above.


At times, sounds of buzzing insects or flapping birds flurried between the ears make a lasting impression. Thanks to the 5.1 sound effects and admitted by the director as audio mixing, they captivate the audience more effectively than roaring thunders.

(imageChris Luckhardt@flickr)

The 94 minutes of shootings, tells forbidden stories without words or music. The interiors of dwellings on Hashima Island (commonly known as Battleship Island) leave plenty of pause for thoughts.

 (imageArkadiusz Podniesinski)

'Homo Sapiens' is a film only in format, documentary for the convenience of classification. It is disquietingly art-house, so much so that it does not have a dialogue but still requires an admission ticket.

'Homo Sapiens' - an official clip

'Homo Sapiens' by Nikolaus Geyrhalter, was part of the collection of films shown during the Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF) in April, 2016.

Note: The stills above are selected from the internet due to the lack of official materials from the film. Credits as shown above.

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