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Timbuktu

PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2015 12:15 am
by Garth Cartwright
This is a film that, I'm guessing, should appeal to this forum - it being filmed in Mali by a Malian director and featuring a soundtrack with Bassekou and such on it. The same director made Bamako a few years back - a film I saw but have no recollection of. Having watched Timbuktu I can see why: this is ambient cinema, beautifully shot, rich colours, nicely dressed actors with expressive faces, well lit and edited, epic desert light but bland as hell. Supposedly about the Islamist occupation of northern Mali a few years ago, there is no real narrative here, more a set of scenarios strung together by various protagonists occasionally wandering into scene. It's as if the director began filming with cast and crew but no script so simply improvised a few incidents and let the film hang on them. There is one truly great scene - football is banned so the boys play with an invisible ball (whether, in real life, they would have risked the wrath of the Islamists for doing such I wonder) and its funny and lyrical and a comment on human absurdity. But the rest of the film lacks such. A pity as the actors and cinematographer are gifted. But the director - financed by France and aware pretty images that hint at meaning will play well in art house cinemas - makes little real effort to convey more about life during wartime.

Re: Timbuktu

PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2015 12:30 am
by john poole
I saw the film a few hours ago and found it more worthwhile than Garth did, although not without some puzzling or confusing moments. I certainly would not agree that it was "bland as hell".