Liminality And Communitas


Reviewed by: Andrew Robertson

Liminality And Communitas
"Laura Rantanen's film is sparse, even spare - a sense of space defined by human endeavours at various scales."

Roadkill rabbit in a LIDL bag, motorway junctions empty in the fog, a corrugated walled tunnel carrying a cycle path beneath the carriageway, night and waiting. A tarmacadam taxonomy, corpses laid out upon concrete, a furred and feathered folio is an organisational rather than anatomical addition. Among other entrail entities (hearts, breasts, melting claws) there is a coldness, literally so - between the mists of verges and freezers, a bit of bokeh, dust and dancing sparks.

Certainly, obviously, liminality - empty spaces where nobody expects to linger - but community and the sense thereof? The carrion roadside is a lonely place, but there's fire and fellowship to follow. Discussion too - of hearts and right places, "Is it right to eat someone's flesh?", traffic noises off. There's at once a lot and nothing to unpack - documentary of a sort that shows, gives space for interpretation.

There's a minimalism to this beyond even the efficiencies of its course (two subjects, two sets of places), a simplicity too. Laura Rantanen's film is sparse, even spare - a sense of space defined by human endeavours at various scales. A bird dissected on a plank, the geometric geography of the road, the inclined planes of knives and ramps, combustion internal/external/infernal, the musings of right and wrong and might and meat.

It's hard not to project upon it. It's a meditative piece, a place to think about things on the verge. In cinema screenings (Eye For Film saw it twice at GSFF19) there's a sense of togetherness inevitably. In the search for meaning within it there's a chance at being part of that ephemeral beast, the audience. Some will get more from it than others - praised for its mystery, "reveal[ing] itself gradually" it was the jury's choice for the Bill Douglas award for international film.

Reviewed on: 19 Mar 2019
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After sundown, a man walks the motorway verges, gathering roadkill. An investigation of the border between life and death, and the edges of the manmade world.

Director: Laura Rantanen

Year: 2018

Runtime: 10 minutes

Country: Finland


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