The Village

The Village ★★★★★

definitely on some kumar shahani shit. this is one of night's best in terms of shot discreteness and discretion, in a broad lack of concern for logical narrative sequences, moreso sensuous ones (though this changes a bit in the second half). but elsewhere the film's genius comes in how it embodies what shahani calls an "epic" cinema: such as, to create an abstracted and necessarily inaccurate sense of the historical through the concrete, accurate reproduction of the material, also to what extent the viewer themselves is able to invest in certain cultural signifiers to maintain a sort of simulated reality, and in fact so much of the emotional tension comes from how well the minor characters intuitively "fit in" in a physical and metaphysical sense, and how the major characters try and visibly fail to conceal the truth from themselves. all these layers of temporal displacement to formulate an argument about a faulty faith in the surface of history and memory, and in the ultimate constancy of nature and romanticism. not to envision history, but to stage an encounter with it. this might sound corny but this whole idea becomes quite a bit more interesting from the perspective of an nonwhite person building a self-conscious impression of far more conservative and ethno-homogenous worlds that he could never belong to, that are alien to him in far more ways than time alone.

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