Reviews - Specialty Releases


Film Review: Mists

Unusual film documents time passing by in the lives of an elderly woman and a former political prisoner.

March 23, 2011

-By Eric Monder


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1229378-Mists_Md.jpg

For movie details, please click here.

Mists tells the story of a people as much as a place in a nonlinear fashion that demands patience but is worth viewer effort. Ricardo Costa’s feature will remind some of the work of the great French New Wave documentarians, though it is less visually intriguing. Still, the concept works well enough.

Like the more artistic concurrent release, I Travel Because I Have To, I Come Back Because I Love You, Mists seems at first to be a travelogue of a region (in this case, Peniche, Portugal), but then moves in another, less expected direction. Director-producer-cinematographer-editor Ricardo Costa integrates reportage of his hometown village on the sea, shot in 2001, with Proustian narratives about his former nanny and parents’ housekeeper, Maria José (now a great-grandmother), and a local figure, Dias Lourenco, a one-time prisoner during the Salazar regime of the 1970s. History and reality meet during the filming as 9/11 shatters the currently peaceful existence of an area once marked by its own tragedy following the Carnation Revolution of 1974.

Costa’s dialectical editing of the footage is what makes Mists a unique experience. Unlike the aforementioned I Travel Because I Have to, little of his shooting captures Peniche (aka “The Window of the Sea”) in an especially appealing or interesting way. Part of this is the result of Costa’s no-nonsense cinéma-vérité style but also the digital video process used.

In any case, Mists is more concerned with the impact of past events on the present and how memory and storytelling could hold the key to ending a cycle of violence and suffering. By cutting from one character and story to another and invoking the past without the aid of archival materials, Costa creates more of a cinematic essay than a documentary per se, and that makes Mists a wise and thoughtful work. What it lacks in “art,” it makes up for in ideas and insight. Hopefully, audiences will appreciate that.


Film Review: Mists

Unusual film documents time passing by in the lives of an elderly woman and a former political prisoner.

March 23, 2011

-By Eric Monder


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1229378-Mists_Md.jpg

For movie details, please click here.

Mists tells the story of a people as much as a place in a nonlinear fashion that demands patience but is worth viewer effort. Ricardo Costa’s feature will remind some of the work of the great French New Wave documentarians, though it is less visually intriguing. Still, the concept works well enough.

Like the more artistic concurrent release, I Travel Because I Have To, I Come Back Because I Love You, Mists seems at first to be a travelogue of a region (in this case, Peniche, Portugal), but then moves in another, less expected direction. Director-producer-cinematographer-editor Ricardo Costa integrates reportage of his hometown village on the sea, shot in 2001, with Proustian narratives about his former nanny and parents’ housekeeper, Maria José (now a great-grandmother), and a local figure, Dias Lourenco, a one-time prisoner during the Salazar regime of the 1970s. History and reality meet during the filming as 9/11 shatters the currently peaceful existence of an area once marked by its own tragedy following the Carnation Revolution of 1974.

Costa’s dialectical editing of the footage is what makes Mists a unique experience. Unlike the aforementioned I Travel Because I Have to, little of his shooting captures Peniche (aka “The Window of the Sea”) in an especially appealing or interesting way. Part of this is the result of Costa’s no-nonsense cinéma-vérité style but also the digital video process used.

In any case, Mists is more concerned with the impact of past events on the present and how memory and storytelling could hold the key to ending a cycle of violence and suffering. By cutting from one character and story to another and invoking the past without the aid of archival materials, Costa creates more of a cinematic essay than a documentary per se, and that makes Mists a wise and thoughtful work. What it lacks in “art,” it makes up for in ideas and insight. Hopefully, audiences will appreciate that.
Post a Comment
Asterisk (*) is a required field.
* Author: 
Rate This Article: (1=Bad, 5=Perfect)

*Comment:
 

More Specialty Releases

Citizenfour
Film Review: Citizenfour

Documentary account of how Edward Snowden leaked intelligence to the world press. More »

Glen Campbell I'll Be Me
Film Review: Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me

Alzheimer's is given an unforgettably human face here, and that face belongs to a music legend. More »

White Bird in a Blizzard
Film Review: White Bird in a Blizzard

A clichéd indie about a girl’s coming-of-age amidst her mother’s disappearance that, despite a sturdy lead performance by Shailene Woodley, is undone by hackneyed, go-nowhere plotting. More »

Exists
Film Review: Exists

Blair Witch Project co-director Eduardo Sanchez returns to the faux-found footage well and hauls out a bucketful of Bigfoot in this derivative but creepy shocker. More »

ADVERTISEMENT



REVIEWS

John Wick
Film Review: John Wick

Retired hit man seeks revenge on Russian mob in an above-average action film. More »

Fury Review
Film Review: Fury

American tanks fight superior German forces in the closing days of World War II. More »

Player for the Film Journal International website.


ADVERTISEMENT



INDUSTRY GUIDES

» Blue Sheets
FJI's guide to upcoming movie releases, including films in production and development. Check back weekly for the latest additions.

» Distribution Guide
» Equipment Guide
» Exhibition Guide

ORDER A PRINT SUBSCRIPTION

Film Journal International

Subscribe to the monthly print edition of Film Journal International and get the full visual impact of this valuable resource for the cinema business.

» Click Here

SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Learn how to promote your company at the Film Expo Group events: ShowEast, CineEurope, and CineAsia.

» Click Here