NZFF2014_09 Amazonia 3D

For me its kind of odd that the last two films I see at the Film festival are in 3D – I usually go out of my way to avoid 3D, but other than Werner Herzogs Cave of Dreams I have never seen a documentary in 3D, and when you think about how difficult it is to film most wildlife documentaries in 2D, the idea of this film in 3D was worth putting aside preconceptions and witness what they have achieved…
Frankly I cannot even begin to grok what was involved in making this film, Amazonia by Thierry Ragobert is a wordless observational documentary with a basic narrative but OMG! Accessing the locations in the Amazon must have been an incredible task in itself, but when the narrative you’re following is focused on a tiny monkey you have to wonder what madness was endured to direct the talent!
The film is a visual treat, with the 3D aspect thankfully not being applied to overtly. While months of arduous shooting must have been involved I can also only imagine a huge amount of work also being involved in creating the soundtrack. As there is no dialogue the ambiences, creature vocals & foley carry the film along with the score by Bruno Coulais. The screening I attended was mid afternoon and accordingly half the audience was kids, who seemed to enjoy it – which is a great compliment on the pacing of the film!

Also have to mention the incredible macro photography/cinematography in this film, and how beautifully sound & foley was handled for these moments when location sound would have been inaudible.

So thats the NZ International Film Festival over for another year, its been such a great celebration of film culture from all over the planet. Thankfully Film Festivals are one place where Hollywood can’t dominate, as no amount of marketing will sway the curators as to selection of films. That isn’t to say I am anti-Hollywood, but I see Hollywood as just one culture of film making, amongst many. And as with that great saying about travel by James A. Michener: “If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay at home…” So if you’re one of those people who can’t be bothered reading subtitles, then please appreciate exactly what you are missing out on…..
When did you last see a subtitled film?


Thanks Bill & all the NZFF team!

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