NIGHT MOVES is a film that is difficult to critique because, like Eyes Wide Shut, or The Master, is inseparable from the rest of the work of its author, provided he redraws the outlines, brings new elements to develop a work begun previously.
Wendy & Lucy, and especially The Last Track (I have not yet seen Old Joy), are two films that to me have an enormous impact. This is a very subjective thing, but the sensitivity of Kelly Reichardt in the field of cinema to touch me, troubles me greatly.
The point common to these three films, is to explore the isolation and loneliness of the characters evolving in an environment that seems huge, but yet the crashes.
Kelly Reichardt sensor also the paranoia of individuals pushed to their limits, with the force of events that they cannot really influence.
It examines the state of perdition, which follows from all of this.
Its staging is built in line with what she wants to talk about it.
When I talk about staging, it is not a question of technical or daring formal, but good suggestion by the Image.
If the first two aspects are very simple although without any fault, the latter is clearly what makes the movie impressive.
This is observed through the mastery of rhythm of the film, the narration anti-demonstrative, as well as in the game disorder of the actors.
Kelly Reichardt is a filmmaker of the static, of the moment, of the slow movement.
Thus, in the first half of the film, its staging, searches in the stretch of time, to create a bubble for the sinister or the characters are changing, as if they were in the queue, and then in the preparation of an event upsetting.
In NIGHT MOVES, this event represents the climax of the film, the time of failover.
The setting images of this moment, moreover, proves to be quite phenomenal, of uncommon intensity, very Spielbergienne in its management of the outstanding.
Because, unlike his previous films, or the suspense is spread throughout the film and evaporates when the characters succumb to their fate, in NIGHT MOVES, the suspense is concentrated at a specific point, at once a culmination and a catalyst, a conclusion and a new beginning, and the beginning of the second part of the film.
It is also troubling because it focuses on the paranoia and the intimacy of one of the protagonists, causes a tightening up to the choking, to the point of no return, that of the abandonment of the characters.
Surrender to the inevitable, abandoning the destructive impulses.
A second part is rather successful, except when his little climax, totally missed. As I said above, Reichardt 6est a filmmaker of the slow movement. His camera can’t capture the dynamism necessary at this point of the story. Damage.
Regarding the narration, and the characters, Kelly Reichardt discusses the Film an almost documentary, an observer remote. She did not wish to create empathy for the characters. Those seem to be smooth and empty, because no dialog actually comes to enlighten us about their past, their projects.
It is only the present, of the different interactions with him. It is necessary, therefore, for the viewer, trying to understand beyond the appearance, to reconstitute the history and the psychology of complex characters, through the observation of details, by decoding the bits of information present in the dialogues, the micro-events. How to take an object, look at it. A smile is very light. A verbosity which hides a personality tortured…
A form of storytelling, two-speed, governed by the traditional codes of cinema – that the camera shows, the interpretation of the dialogues… A cinema which, taken at the first degree, has nothing exceptional.
Then, and this is the or comes the power of this NIGHT MOVES and film of Reichardt, deviously, to tell the story : the details of daily life, the out-of-field.
“NIGHT MOVES is a film that is air-tight, but shaped by a staging that seeks to stimulate the intellect of the spectator.”
The actors help a lot to the development of this narrative singular : Eisenberg, brilliantly impenetrable, is hard to decipher. Yet, the actor manages, thanks to its subtle, to convey a few items on the bursts of the interior that are troubling. Fanning, twining, sensual in its own way, interprets a character that is full of assurance and tortured, unstable. Skaarsgard, slightly in the surjeu, embodies all the same an interesting character : foutraque, it is poorly organized, it will prove yet, through some phrases for the telephone, the most lucid of the three.
These characters, in a way quite disturbing, much more trust their instincts as to the facts, they imagine the world, rather than what it really is. Which makes abject hero, stupid and immoral when it comes to cinema, and yet, realistic enough, if we compare with our own way of viewing the world.
All the other actors portraying the “Real”, full-fledged character in this bubble outside of time and space, a protagonist with no real consistency, but that causes the advanced rhythmic and scriptwriting, psychological.
It is, therefore, by this setting, to trust to the intelligence of the viewer to reconstruct a history of behavioural profiles.
A notion challenging that I enjoy the Movies a lot, as I wrote about The BLUE ANGEL, Josef Von Sternberg.
Thus, driven by the desire to match this critical to my vision of the film, I remained deliberately vague on the springs story, to the different developments of the characters.
The film, however, causes in this strange vision of the film, some elements of the potentially disturbing to the viewer, depending on his affinity with the world of the director :
– Kelly Reichardt is obviously not interested in the eco-activism and terrorism associated with it. This is only a pretext, a decor in which she places her characters.
The film can therefore be seen as a simple object of setting the scene, awesome and challenging, but devoid of any political thought, in spite of a point of view seemingly very “documentary”…
A pity that it does not apply at all to the subject of the film, but the characters, their psychology.
The viewer wishing to create a connection with the film through its characters, or via the emotional power of its story, will be disappointed. His lack of generosity in fact an object, film little accessible.
NIGHT MOVES is a continuity in the work of the filmmaker, and, therefore, does not offer the key to understanding what has already been decoded.
NIGHT MOVES is all in all, a film that is airtight, because Kelly Reichardt gives too few clues for the viewer to understand his universe, his vision of Man faced with the inevitable.
Nevertheless, this film shaped by a staging challenging, is even more exciting when its tempo, elastic is confronted with an outstanding intense and addictive, which is a singularity in the films of Reichardt.
A film that it is, therefore, important, even essential, to consider compared to its predecessors.
Also, I advise against watching the trailer as it often does, emphasizes the spectacular and the excess of information to the true nature of the film, a complex work to decipher.
• Production : Kelly Reichardt
• Screenplay : Jonathan Raymond, Kelly Reichardt
• Main actors : Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning, Peter Sarsgaard, James le Gros
• Country of origin : United States
• Released : April 23, 2014
• Duration : 1h52mn
• Distributor : Ad Vitam
• Synopsis : A couple of environmental activists, with the assistance of a third type with the troubled past, is preparing a spectacular operation and radical, is intended to “open the eyes of the world”