At Land

At Land ★★★★

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At Land, a frenetic dream that never loses momentum. Always pushing and simultaneously pulling the viewer in and out of the main subject's fleeting journey. Never clarifying their intent or desire, aimlessly determined. Out of the fourteen minute run time, the first four minutes heightened my interest the most. Birthed from the ocean, Maya Deren herself is brought to shore, continuously hit by waves until she is further inland. This beginning is the start of her journey, her endeavor into curiosity and confusion. Sometimes these two emotions become one, creating a convoluted beauty that I have rarely seen in cinema. Once she is on land, she finds a dead tree to pull herself up off the sand. Struggling but insistent on getting further up the branches. Her body is strong, stiff, and almost like a statue. As if she is a part of this dead tree, a moment that is short lived, yet surreal. She continues climbing up, but suddenly the top of this dead tree turns into a grand dining table. She peers off the edge of the table, finding herself in a bourgeoisie setting. This transition sets the tone, and introduces the jarring changes that Maya's character will endure for the rest of her entrancing venture. Whether it be her having a conversation with four men at once, or revisiting the beach setting that we were introduced with at the beginning of the film. Her determination and blind search for the unknown is uniquely beguiling and human in ways everyone can connect to.

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