Eye For Film >> Movies >> Riverbero (2013) Film Review
Reviewed by: Andrew Robertson
It starts with a sequence of shots that are not black and white but merely depict scenes which contain few objects requiring colour information. After a long series of angled shots of angular spaces, after ranks of cinema chairs, of pipework and white goods, of near-brutalist concrete balconies, the echo chamber's corner juts against a concrete ceiling like the bow of a ship. It's all about waves.
Within the reverberation room opposing walls are not parallel, adjoining walls are not perpendicular, the space is isolated from the outside world with springs and baffles and an ablative warehouse. A sound made within it might travel five kilometres before its energy is expended.
Created by the Mybosswas collective the piece is itself as discomfiting as the consequence of its location. There's a type design credit (the font for the logo is a particularly crisp bit of typography), the usual filmic odds and bods, and dozens of musicians - the musical piece that runs through most of it is a devised piece for voice and unusual instruments - doors played with those whiskered drumsticks, an eviscerated pipe-organ hung like sausage in a delicatessen, voices elongated, distorted, artifacts of sonic reflection producing distortions that recall pioneering experiments in electronica, all Derbyshire-style looping and Kraftwerk synthesis but done with walls. 'Interferenze' is available on an album of music by the collective, and their website has a number of extras, but their thoroughness is part of Riverbero's oddity.
It feels longer than its 15 minutes in part because it seems two, even three things are going on - the angular montage builds to the musical piece, and is followed by an interview with a scientist who explains the particular peculiarities of propogation within the room's proportions.
Though intriguing, even entertaining, the film doesn't quite strike the right balance between subject and depiction. That is always a delicate act with documentary, and here it is a little off. Call it rate of return - if the goal is to reflect reality, there's a little too much frame around the mirror, but while its focus is split the diffraction is not grating.Reviewed on: 14 Feb 2014