Lucas’ bishop, Can Un Sarten Rigard, warned of danger before becoming the minister of a remote Icelandic community. Godland. “It’s easy to get mad there,” he explains at his Copenhagen dinner table, chewing steadily through the incredible feast in front of him. Iceland, where the sun never sets on a summer night, where the weather is extreme, the landscape is very memorable: just remember the apostles, “a group of lonely men,” the bishop advised to wipe his face. Lucas (Elliott Crosset Hove) not eating; At a glance he tells you that he is an ascetic turning priest.

She is clearly feeling her isolation when she comes out with a guide and helpmate across her new parish spagnam algae. They have a tight schedule, building his church with a specific deadline by the end of the summer and turning his flock into a weekly show of righteousness. His main guide is Ragner, a Surley Icelander played by Ingvar Sigurdsson with Granite Strictly – such as Howe, a regular collaborator with director Hlinur Palmason – who can read the changing river, quarrel with the horse, and tolerate any privacy without complaint.

Ragnor speaks only Icelandic; Lucas speaks only Danish and, despite drilling from his translator, seems incapable of picking as much as a local word. It is a barrier that thickens and becomes an impenetrable wall. They do not need to exchange views to know that they embody two fundamentally opposite ways of being. The cumbersome photographic equipment forces Lucas to take over the mountains, occasionally arranging for his team to take pictures for successors, a metaphor for the meaninglessness he is carrying in this desert. The journey itself is the whim of the people of the city; In Iceland everything is delivered by boat. Lucas just imagines the idea of ​​an epic journey across the country. Asked to meet people, but no one to meet. This is probably the first sign of his madness.

The desert itself is no surprise at the center of the story. What continues to amaze, at least no one has seen before the two features of Palmason, is the way he bends the deep splendor of this landscape for his own aesthetic purposes, creating two-dimensional patterns from valley streams and canvas from moss and stone mountain walls. . Iceland offers endless panoramas; Palmason resists the temptation to be beautiful using academy proportions, so that the film image is almost a square. When the camera is on a character, we do not see a person in a landscape, dwarfed or even dwarfed by his majesty. We see a whole person. Sometimes we see a monster.

Lucas almost died on the ride. No harm, one might think – Ragnor would think, for sure – compared to other men and horses lost along the way, largely thanks to Lucas’s arrogant refusal to weather claims. Survivors take him, but take him to the village where he has to be served on a stretcher. His billet is the home of a well-to-do farmer. The farmhouse parlor, with its lace curtains and polished dining table, looks impossibly fresh and lovely.

So are his two daughters. Palmason’s own delightful daughter Ida with a horse and a dog and a half man shows a few riding techniques in a movie. Her older sister Anna (Vic Carmen Sone) is of marriageable age. As her health improved, Lucas clearly felt Anna’s vitality and emotional tension that was not entirely pure. Meanwhile, Ragner turns his energy to help build the church, driving nails into the woods under the summer sun in a scene that resembles Peter Weir’s witness flipside. He did not forget how much he hated this restless priest.

Godland Goes slowly, sometimes so painful. This, of course, if it is to convey the feeling of the journey not as a popping series of meetings with danger, but as a long and exhausting one. Time, in fact, is the essence of the film. Palmason is fascinated by the weather in general, but especially by the change of seasons. We see the church porch covered with a wooden cover, just like the first snowfall. We see the death of a fallen horse and the gradual decay of the registered time pass, a sequence filmed by the director for more than two years. We feel the impact of time on Lucas’s skinny body and fragile mind.

Palmason follows his vision with a dreamy, disciplined resolve that returns him to take more pictures of a dead horse. The audience is not necessarily so disciplined; It is possible to find yourself thinking about what to do for dinner. But then the light changes, Sigardson’s face twists and you come back on the road, crashing into the edge of the hill towards an end where the power of tragedy lies. Undoubtedly, Palmason will continue to work on a film that strikes that elusive balance of speed and pitch. He is very close now.

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