The MichaelVox Movie Review Weblog
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ATANARJUAT
(THE FAST RUNNER)
2001


July 9, 2002
Towne Theater
Canada
Inuktitut

It's unique, if nothing else. I went on a day when it was about 100 degrees out and the vistas of never-ending ice flows and igloos soothed me as I sat in air-conditioned splendor. The film is nearly three hours long, but doesn't drag. It is hard to figure out who is who and what curse is being put on which person, but it mostly becomes clear by the end. There are shots in this film that I've never seen before. The one getting the most justifiable praise is when our hero escapes from an attempted murder and runs, while completely naked, over the ice flows. I mean, he's naked, barefoot, and running at top speed through icy puddles and jumping over cracks in the ice. The camera zooms in on his feet as they splash and begin bleeding. He falls in puddles, the bad men giving chase, the music thumping, his breath loud. Simply amazing. No stuntman, no body double, long shots that go far into the distance.

The story has something to do with a curse that an older generation had that follows through to their children. The time period is never mentioned. There is jealously and there are slutty girls and good girls and honest hardworking men and dickheads. We see igloos being built and seal being eaten. The dogsled is the only form of transportation and seaweed is often the only thing to burn for cooking purposes. And movie sex sounds the same in any language.

I feel that this film may be a bit overrated, but it is clearly like nothing we've seen before. And yes, I own NANOOK OF THE NORTH.

8.6 Critical Consensus






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