Saturday, October 18, 2008
From Chile: THE SKY, THE EARTH AND THE RAIN
The Sky, the Earth and the Rain screens today, 10/18, at 600 North Michigan at 3:20pm, and on Monday 10/20, 4:00pm.
José Luis Torre Leiva’s The Sky, the Earth and the Rain boasts the year’s most awesome sound design and some of the most unforgettable images as well. Unfortunately, it’s cursed with a generic, uninformative title—which may explain why last night’s prime-time screening was so sparsely attended. But this is the sort of movie that international festivals were all but made for. It provides a window on an unfamiliar part of the world (a small island town off the coast of Chile) and operates in a tempo unfamiliar to most cosmopolitan viewers. The minimal story focuses on Ana, a reticent young woman who cares for her bedridden mother. For a while, she works at her island’s general store, but then she signs on as a maid for a single man who owns an apple orchard. That’s about it as far as the plot goes, but Torre Leiva makes every moment resonate: His meditative tracking shots and breathtaking Dolby soundtrack envelop the audience in natural spectacle. (Last night’s audience, who quite didn’t know what it was getting into, was brought to reverential silence about 15 minutes in.) Torre Leiva cribs a few shots from Andrei Tarkovsky’s classic The Mirror (1975), but not superficially. Indeed, The Sky, the Earth and the Rain is one of the few films since Tarkovsky’s passing that seriously contemplates nature as a living thing. This is a movie to get lost in. (2008, 110 min, 35mm)