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With: Declan Conneely, Johnny Gatcombe, Adrian Guillette, Brian Jannelle, Clyde Lee, Arthur Smith, Christopher Swampstead
Written by: Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Verena Paravel
Directed by: Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Verena Paravel
MPAA Rating: NR
Running Time: 87
Date: 04/26/2013

Leviathan (2013)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Roly Poly Fish Heads

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Technically it's a documentary about fishing trawler outside of New Bedford, Massachusetts, but Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Verena Paravel's Leviathan is more of an experimental film, strapping a dozen or so cameras to the ship's nets and chains and achieving something of an immersive, voyeuristic experience. The camera dips in and out of the ocean, sits at deck level as caught, dead fish slosh back and forth in leftover water, and watches as fishermen dutifully cut the good bits from the fish and kick the rest back into the ocean.

The camera sometimes picks up haunting images of white seagulls against the inky sky, or of the cigarettes of desensitized fishermen. It listens for the sounds of waves crashing, chains clanking, and other rocking, swishing sounds, with the chatter of sailors barely audible and totally unnecessary. Leviathan has no plot or narrator, and does not bother to explain anything. It may cause impatience with many viewers, but for others it can be a meditative and revelatory experience.

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