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Tribeca 2017: November

Jason Adams reporting from the Tribeca Film Festival 

You can practically feel the mud caking beneath your fingertips while watching the Estonian fog folk nightmare that is November, which for once to this city boy felt like a good thing – that grounding sense of atmosphere helps situate us, keeping which way is up, in a topsy-turvy unknown world. If you’ve ever wandered in a country where you don’t speak the language then you’ll know the vibe director Rainer Sarnet dredges up here...

That feeling is disorienting but also freeing. You have no idea what’s going on but man can it be magical.

Shot in majestically stark black-and-white November situates us inside a tiny village in the 19th century on the edge of nowhere at all – its opening scene, featuring an animate bundle of sticks carrying a cow off into the sky, is what a Looney Tunes cartoon shot by Ingmar Bergman might’ve looked like. It calms down considerably from there, although “calm” might not be the word to describe a world populated with plague boars and haunted forests. Let’s say it slows down, and gets us involved in the antics of this charmingly absurd bunch of people as they negotiate their day-to-day routines of filching from the wealthy (themselves a dilapidated bunch) and wearing pants on their heads.

It’s the sort of bizarre thing you feel grateful for. This is storytelling that rearranges your atoms, your sense of time and place, and plunks you down in about as foreign a world as you can imagine. There are images in November so beautiful, like a woman walking into a lake on the edge of whited-out oblivion, that I wanna curl them up in my dirty hands and kiss them.

November plays Tribeca Film Festival at 3:45 PM Tues (4/25), 6:15 PM Wed (4/26), and 4:15 PM Thur (4/27)

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Reader Comments (2)

I'm getting Marketa Lazarová and The VVitch vibes from this!

April 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterPaul B

I hope Estonia sends this to the oscars.
It won the best cinematography award at Tribeca and was sold to Oscilloscope, so this will be realeased to some extent in the US.
November is like that one good rock'n'roll song among a tape of generic popsongs if compared to today's moviemaking... such a cool atmosphere... :)

April 28, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterKris

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