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Knowing (2009)
What happens when the numbers run out?
Filmmaker(s): Alex Proyas

A teacher opens a time capsule that has been dug up at his son's elementary school; in it are some chilling predictions -- some that have already occurred and others that are about to -- that lead him to believe his family plays a role in the events that are about to unfold.

Knowing (2009)

The Cleansing

Timing is everything.

I saw this in a stressed state, looking for escape. I saw it in a grand old theatre with large, excellently tuned equipment. I saw it not knowing anything at all about it.

And I loved it.

Yes, I know people do not like Nic Cage. And I know many were put off by the genre- synthesising approach. But I found it engaging, narratively and visually. Spooky as get-out in places. When punctuation was least expected (in three places) and from three unexpected sources, the crashes were extraordinary.

The first one — a plane crash — was more terrifying to me than the recurring nightmare from “Fearless.” It isn’t as cinematically impressive as the best complex long shots, but it was as amazing as it gets in a big budget production. The fact that there are no cuts makes the thing absolutely real.

There is a spaceship. Yes, it is an ET/Third Kind Encounter sort of ending, framed enough differently to matter and goof on Spielberg. But the stunning thing was the design of the thing. It is marvellous, absolutely new and deserving of wonder.

The end is a combination of “The Fountain,” “The Fall,” “The Holy Mountain” and a Chinese film about a princess whose name I forget. I am sure a reader will supply it. I thought it risky in the context but successful. The game here is one of moving not from one plot point to another, but one established location in genres to another. It takes us out of the movie world to skip among such well rooted movie types so seamlessly. They have to be familiar to work.

It is not hackneyed at all, using and escaping the ordinary.

I recommend this, but only if you can see it loud and big, and only if you have a couple decades of being profoundly influenced by the films this references.

The title is apt.

Posted in 2009

Ted’s Evaluation — 3 of 3: Worth watching.


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