Director Rolf de Heer (THE QUIET ROOM) brings a striking gravity to his films and often toys with the perception of time, but this stunningly photographed reflection on the human condition seems a bit protracted. In flashbacks, a grandmother (Alethea McGrath) tells her granddaughters a campfire tale about an odd wayfarer (Syd Brisbane) she once met. This traveler claims that while vacationing in the desert, he encountered a nude woman who claimed to be an alien. The man is more inclined to believe that she's a mental patient, but in between denigrating humankind the hypercritical stranger uses her powers to slow down or speed up time. She transports her earth-guide to other places until the space-time continuum loses its meaning for him. The question is whether the alien can learn anything from a species she regards as barbaric or form a bond with her warm-hearted human escort that can span the distance between them. The most compelling reason to watch this discursive think-piece about inter-planetary romance is its exquisite cinematography. Though the film's central relationship is movingly developed, writer-director de Heer spends too much time venting through the character of the alien about rapacious, energy-wasting modern man. That said, deeply thoughtful philosophical science-fiction films are rare by comparison with routine action fodder set in space. The intriguing love-hate relationship between the principal characters compensates for the fact that the filmmaker's ecological pronouncements are delivered rather to smugly to be effective.
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- Released: 2000
- Rating: PG-13
- Review: Director Rolf de Heer (THE QUIET ROOM) brings a striking gravity to his films and often toys with the perception of time, but this stunningly photographed reflection on the human condition seems a bit protracted. In flashbacks, a grandmother (Alethea McGra… (more)