The idea of the table’s autobiographical documentary is not new. The Lithuanian Jonas Mekas has even made his trademark with the genre of the film diary in which THE RIVER OF LIFE is the colors. Yang Pingdao chronic family of his own – the death, the birth, the life. Sequences, sometimes desultory, almost abstract in spite of their real identity : whether this is voluntary or not, the reference to The Mirror of Tarkovsky seems relevant in this construction is chaotic, and in this framework approach, remote, and iconic.
The device is, however, complicated to define. Difficult to separate the idea of chance, the pose of the real : it is the limit of the film diary, which, beyond its leader fascinating – dive into the daily life true of an individual – penalty to push his scope beyond mere documentation. THE RIVER OF LIFE does not have themes fundamentally transcendental, formally the film sometimes falls in through the ugliness (this “aged” look added to the footage in post-production is frankly hideous, the use of titles is awkward) ; leaving finally the impression to attend a vacation movie built in feature film-cinema.
This would, however, be underestimated Yang Pingdao that to disparage his film. The director prints of his personality in this testimony, and it is this that ultimately makes all its charm, all its sincerity. THE RIVER OF LIFE is a rare hardness, a tragedy to the intensity yet non-existent that manages to interact with the viewer by the nature of its images. An original nature, since you can’t read much.
“The eyes of the director on his or her own home is both tender and terrible, but it misses the bigger picture.”
THE RIVER OF LIFE is a concept, but it is not a vision. The eyes of the director on his or her own home is both tender and terrible, but it is a lack of evidence, overall, of purpose : all this was a nice move somewhat, it’s hard to find a justification for creative to the film, which tries a little and in the end invents nothing. An object of art very monotonous.
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