Year Released: 2011
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 123 minutes
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Experimental cinema – not unlike experiments conducted in any mechanical process – generates hit-or-miss results. In this case, the result goes far beyond missing the mark.
Wonderland consists of a pair of hour-long films shot in Zurich and Strasbourg by Nicolas Humbert and Martin Otter. Both films have no plot – they mostly offer a meandering collection of street scenes that are mostly framed in dreary monochrome. A great deal of the camera time is spent gazing at walls and traffic intersections, for no apparent reason, although a gorilla in a zoo somehow gets a close-up. Even worse, the films use a split-screen format (obviously nobody told Humbert and Otter that split-screen went out of fashion with Woodstock).
Adding to the confusion is a pair of soundtracks saddled on each film: one created by the filmmakers, one created by the Parisian band Das Kapital. The result is an audio-visual mess. The parallel images rarely complement each other in terms of contents or quality, and the choice of soundtracks (which are overstuffed with annoying avant-garde jazz and a mix of annoying real-life noises) seems to have been hijacked from another movie.
In the DVD’s booklet, the filmmakers insist that Wonderland “belongs to the same artistic tradition as Berlin: Symphony of a Great City and Man with a Movie Camera.” Except for the fact that it was shot with a camera, the dismally pretentious Wonderland is worlds removed from those pioneering 1920s production.
Posted on April 5, 2011 in Reviews by Phil Hall
If you liked this article then you may also like the following Film Threat articles:
- ALICE’S MISADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND
- HAPPILY EVER AFTER
- 30 MILES
- ALICE IN WONDERLAND (DVD)
- WONDERLAND (DVD)
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