Landscape in the Mist (1988)

Theo Angelopoulos
Most films inspire some lengthy explanation of what I saw or what they wanted me to see or what you thought you saw and how your interpretation is indeed valid, though not quite as valid as mine. Well, none of this is necessary with Landscape in the Mist. Instead, I will simply catalog some of my reactions to certain things in the film.
  1. Underlying moral flavor and narrative flow is very much like Andrei Rublev.
  2. Human on human curiosity and interdependence in full view.
  3. Dying horses juxtaposed (in Landscape, the backdrop is the apparently tumultuous wedding ceremony; in Rublev, the sack of Vladimir)
  4. No relationship with father (in Landscape, the father was never known by the children; in Rublev, the bell maker’s father was just a jerk, apparently, but the same result is a child deprived a happy fatherly connection)
  5. Should be called revelations because it’s just one revelation after another.
  6. Possibly the most aptly titled film ever—when you actually take note of the shots—it’s mist!
  7. I see Steamroller and Violin (in some places; the gentle hand of the working man reaching out to the parentless child; although not always so gentle, as is the case in Landscape)
  8. I see some of the desolation, drifting of Jia Zhangke films—oh, and the camera pull-backs! People walking into and out of frame. Two tone concrete backgrounds.
  9. The juxtaposition of the “big past” in the background versus the small, confused people in the foreground (In Platform, it is the great old Chinese structures; in Landscape, it is the big floating hand, among other things.
  10. There is also, notably, a heavy use of the emotional glue music thing just as we see in the contemporary Kieslowski Blind Chance.

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