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Trailer Watch: Godfrey Reggio’s Visitors

The premiere of Godfrey Reggio’s Visitors, hosted by Steven Soderbergh and with Phillip Glass’s score performed live by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, was my most singular experience at this year’s Toronto Film Festival. As I wrote in the current issue of Filmmaker:

Glass’s haunting soundtrack is among his best, while Reggio’s film is a radical departure from hyperkinetic works like Koyanisquatsi that presaged the visual language of our connected age. Shot in black-and-white and containing less than 60 cuts, the lulling Visitors is mournful yet concerned elegy for a world in which experience has been subsumed by spectatorship. Amusement parks are empty, Louisiana swampland desecrated, building facades decaying. Yet we, sitting in the audience, are being stared at — by children, moviegoers and video-game players, and, in a Kubrick-ian flourish, a soulful gorilla. Reggio’s urgent yet lovely non-narrative essay on societal disconnection required the most radical mental recalibration of the festival, with the necessity of such an act being, in fact, its own subject matter. Visitors’ shots of disembodied hands dancing above a virtual keyboard were the most haunting images of the fest for me.

The film opens in early 2014, and its latest trailer is above.

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