October 25, 2011

The Mill and the Cross- Film Forum



Mike: On Friday night we made a rare visit to Film Forum to check out The Mill and the Cross. Film Forum is nice and they show amazing arthouse and classic films, but there are two problems that prevent us from going here regularly:

-The screens are small. When you go to see a classic film, you want to see it on a somewhat big screen. Film Forum's screens leave much to be desired. Also, they don't have stadium seating - something every movie theater should have - so often your view is partially obstructed by people seated in front of you.
-There is very little legroom. It's very uncomfortable for me to see a movie here, and I imagine the experience is the same for anyone over six feet tall. My knees hurt, and I'm sure the ways in which I contort my body to fit isn't very healthy.

So even though there are a lot of films I want to see at the Film Forum, we hardly ever go there and there has to be something special for me to endure two hours of pain and discomfort.

But The Mill and the Cross piqued my father's interest so Erica and I joined my folks for a screening on Friday night.

Erica: Another reason we don't go here often is that they do not offer discount tickets, so tickets are full price

I had no expectations going into this movie. For some of the movies we see, I have no idea what they are about going in and I like it better that way.
 
Mike: I found to the film to be fascinating. It's a mood piece and a rather passive filmgoing experience. There's hardly any talking and it's slow moving. You are an observer, and you learn about the people depicted in Breugel's painting. Life moved at a different speed in those days, so the extremely slow pacing is appropriate.

Visually the film is remarkable, even if just for its intentions. Not all of the ultra low budget special effects are convincing, and the use of sets and green screening is apparent. But it's effective enough, and some of the tricks are very impressive.

Seeing The Mill and the Cross is not a typical film experience. While it will offer some viewers merely a challenge to their attention spans, others will appreciate the film's meditative qualities.

Erica: I agree with Mike in that this movie is definitely a challenge to the viewers attention span. I thought the movie was interesting, however extremely slow moving. It is only a 91 minute movie that is a true acting showcase for Rutger Hauer, who had to act without much dialogue. I understand the pace had to be a little slower due to the premise of the film, however, I felt there was something lacking in this movie for me.

On a positive side, nobody in attendance was texting and surfing, they were there to see the film and appreciate the movie. This is a great movie for art lovers who want to know what goes into a painting of that magnitude of Breugel's famous "Way to Calvary" work from the 1500s. 

 

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