End Of The Week Shorts 6.2 extract: At Sea (2007)
At Sea. The most entertaining aspect of this film was constructing my own soundtrack - one that certainly didn't match the narrative. Beyond this, I'm getting tired of experimental filmmakers asking me to sit back and muse over their static, stretched-out imagery. Whilst, yes, this film has many bold and powerful shots and a somewhat interesting topic (a ship sailing off before being beached), forcing us to view this all in silence is very pretentious. In fact, it just comes off as lazy - and to the point that I wasn't really bothered to engage with the narrative.
As a cinematic symphony, At Sea sits in the same realm as films like Man With A Movie Camera and Koyaanisqatsi. However, unlike both of these films, At Sea has no sense of rhythm or pace, nor does it assume a particularly interesting perspective. In such, we are made to see mundane shots of sea, sky, beaches, docks and men working - all of which begin to lose their power as we are exposed to the same old observer's perspective. I would have loved to have had a proper sound track, more interesting shot types and to see Hutton give character to this scenario - either by better depicting the people within, or more intricately documenting the ship itself (its processes and little details) instead of putting us on or around it to observe everything from a distance. This ultimately would have better represented the ideas that may lie beneath narrative.
All in all, not really worth the trouble. But, I do have to say that I don't regret watching this film. So, take from that what you will.