Beyond The Clouds

Beyond The Clouds

DVD Rating: ***

Reviewed by: James Benefield

Read James Benefield's film review of Beyond The Clouds

There are two key selling points here; one is a documentary entitled To Make A Film Is To Be Alive, and the other is a reading of an essay by retired professor and critic Seymour Chatman, accompanied by a stills gallery for something a bit more visual. There is also a trailer.

The documentary is mostly in Italian, is subtitled and features a lot of Wim Wenders (seemingly doing most of the directing, possibly because of the stroke that left a frail-looking Antonioni partly paralysed 10 years prior to filming) and ‘behind the camera’ footage, roughly assembled and interspersed with corresponding scenes from the film. There are a couple if interview snippets within the footage too.

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It’s 52 minutes, and moves at a similarly languid pace to the film. It’s not something you’d watch again, as it’s more production diary than anything, and a production diary that has little shape, commentary or insight, at that. However, it is something of a curio, as the documentary’s filmmaker captures shots of the cast and crew that almost rival the melancholic beauty of the film.

The essay’s reading lasts about 35 minutes, and provides background and analysis to the movie. It’s pretty accessible, and is factually rich and interesting. The stills of the film are pretty moving, too.

Reviewed on: 30 Sep 2009
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Beyond The Clouds packshot
Love, lust and naked women in a quartet of linked tales.
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Product Code: 2NDVD3164

Region: 2

Ratio: 1.66:1

Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1

Extras: To Make a Film Is To Be Alive, audio essay by Seymour Chatman, stills gallery, trailer

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