A Spell to Ward off the Darkness – Movie Reivew by Frank L.
Directed by Ben Rivers and Ben Russell
Stars: Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe
Sometimes you lose track of time in a cinema, sometimes you feel every second. The blurb which accompanies this film states that it lasts 98 minutes. Having watched it for the duration, what the title has to do with the film is a mystery. It starts with a long sequence of the camera moving along an inlet at dawn, I think … it could have been dusk. Difficult to say how long because it was too dark to read my swatch but 10 minutes would be a fair estimate, possibly longer.
Eventually as the gloom lifts, the pre-prandial and prandial activities of a group of individuals, who have chosen to live in a commune, is laid before us for our delectation including some conversations about what turns some of them on or maybe inspires them would be a better word. However their thoughts and activities are dished up ungarnished so difficult to know what the purpose of any particular activity or so called “thought” was. Not many points to Mr. Rivers and Mr. Russell for presentation. This sequence abruptly ends as one of the commune members takes himself off into the wilds where he sits in a boat and then wanders through lichen covered rocks and quite dense woods… nothing at all seems to happen during this sequence except towards the end when the loner smears his face with white paste and is transported, as a performer, into a heavy metal band, which blasts, wails, drums and rackets for 35 minutes (according to the programme notes). Again the darkness did not permit a swatch to be read but at the time it seemed much longer than 35 minutes. It ended which was a relief.
On reflecting on this offering, it is important to remember the sun rises still on a daily basis on our planet. It remains the most reliable spell to ward off the darkness.