Monday, March 30, 2009

Day Seventy-Two: Genesis (2004) - Rank 4/5


From the Big Bang to modern day, "Genesis" has it covered. And while the title might indicate that the film takes a Christian point of view towards the events, it's a natural world-themed excursion. That should come as no surprise since it was written and directed by the creative team behind "Microcosmos," a 1997 documentary that explored the insect world. There is a spiritual tie-in though, for the film is narrated by a seeming African shaman, sitting before a campfire. As he weaves a tapestry of folklore and fact, we see the action take place on screen.

The film is gorgeously shot - the footage of animals is some of the most breathtaking I've ever seen. The combination of music and animal imagery is almost hypnotizing, reminiscent of Reggio and Glass' all-too-brief "Anima Mundi." Then again, I'm a sucker for films that are practically dialog-free - and almost story-free as this film is. They take cinema to a level higher than that of simply telling a story - it's about sharing an idea. While the narrator is speaking a distinct language, the visuals of primitive Earth and its inhabitants engaged in their daily lives need to translation , especially considering how artfully they're edited together. Movies like this are then reserved for no particular audience, for they speak to all nationalities alike - a characteristic most filmmakers never strive for today.

Watch the Trailer

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