Saturday, May 20, 2006

Less is More

I watched a Turkish film called "Uzak" or "Distant". It was one of the most sparsely dialogued movies I’ve seen in a while. It’s surprising how something so sparse and subtle can sneak up and effect you.

Only in low budget markets can you make such a movie these days. Antonioni made some great films in which hardly a word was spoken. Maybe Jim Jarmusch or Gus Van Sant can still get away with it today. It would be very difficult to convince someone to let you spend millions of dollars to make a film with so little dialogue.

Such a work is really a kind of Rorschach test. The less is said the more interpretation is required from the viewer, having different effects on different viewers. It’s an interesting strategy for art because it can be difficult to determine the virtuosity of the artist. People will argue that Antonioni is brilliant or an over-rated charlatan.

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