GENERAL ORDERS NO. 9 (DVD)

0.5 Stars
Year Released: 2012
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 72 minutes
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The expression “experimental cinema” perfectly describes the concept of outside-the-box filmmaking – after all, some experiments work magnificently while the majority tend to fizzle and flop. Robert Persons’ 72-minute experimental film production, sadly, falls squarely and firmly into the latter category.

Persons focuses his film on Georgia and attempts to provide a cinematic tone poem on the state’s uneasy balance of bucolic natural beauty and dreary urban modernity. Unfortunately, Persons scripted a hippy-dippy narration that is droned out by William Davidson. A typical passage goes like this: “There was a war here, a hundred years before this generation was born. A war happened here. We’re lost without a map, but well misplaced. Bring us doubt upon doubt, bless us, and break us with mystery upon mystery. The Lord loves a broken spirit. Pray that we are well broken.” Yeah, whatever.

Adding to the narcotizing audio effect is the film’s cinematography: a series of artsy images that are edited in a manner that gives the impression of a screensaver on steroids. The film is conspicuously lacking in people, except for a few archival photographs. Whether Persons desires a depopulated Georgia or whether he prefers filming inanimate objects is not clear.

The filmmaker reportedly spent 11 years putting this film together – and for the unlucky viewer, sitting through this numbing and pointless work can seem like an 11-year stretch.



Posted on March 29, 2012 in Reviews by
Buffer


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2 Comments on "GENERAL ORDERS NO. 9 (DVD)"

  1. TC on Thu, 29th Mar 2012 7:09 pm 

    I hear that General Orders No. 10 will totally rock, though.


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  2. D. H. Schleicher on Sun, 22nd Apr 2012 12:20 pm 

    I think you dismiss the film a little too easily. Yes, it’s experimental. Yes, it’s at times droning and redundant. But it can raise some deep thoughts if you allow it to (despite its own stubborn simplicity).


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