3D 80s Cinema Action Adaptation Adelaide Film Festival Adventure Age of Adaline aliens altzheimers amazon Amitabh Bachchan Animation anime Ari Gold Australian film AV Industry BDSM Beach Boys Berlinale Bianca Biasi Big Hero 6 Biography Biopic Blake Lively Bollywood Breast Cancer Brian Wilson Camille Keenan Cancer candyman cannibalism Cannon Films Cesars CGI Chapman To Character Actors Charlie Hunnam Charlize Theron Chris Hemsworth Chris Pratt Christchurch Christopher Nolan Comedy Coming-of-Age Crowd-sourced Cure Dakota Johnson Dardennes Brothers Deepika Padukone Depression Disney Documentary Dr Moreau drama Dustin Clare Dystopic EL James eli roth Elizabeth Banks Entourage Epic Erotic Cinema Extreme Sports Family Film Fantasy Father Daughter Fifty Shades of Grey Film Film Festival Foreign found footage French Cinema Golan Globus Gothic green inferno Guardians of the Galaxy Guillermo del Toro Hacker Happiness Harrison Ford Harry Dean Stanton Hasbro Haunted house Hhorror Himalaya Hollywood horror Horror Film Housebound Idris Elba IMAX In Your Eyes Independent Indian Film Infini International Film Internet Interstellar Iron Man 3 Irrfan Khan James Gunn Jamie Dornan Jeff Krulik Jennifer Kent Jennifer Peedom Jeremy Piven John Cusack Josie Ho Joss Whedon Kathmandu kite Kristen Stewart Ladyhawke Latvian Cinema Liam Neeson Lili Tomlin Lord of the Rings los angeles Love & Mercy Lukla Making of Manila Manson Marion Cotillard Mark Hartley Mark Wahlberg Marriage Marvel MGM Michael Bay MIFF Minuscule Mount Everest Multiculturalism Naked Ambition Nepal New Zealand Film Nuit de la Glisse NZFC Oscars Outback Ozploitation Pacific Rim Palio Paper Planes Perth Pet Sounds Piku Poltergeist Post-apocalyptic


Director: Victor Kossakovsky
Running time: 108 minutes

MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL Screenings – Fri 3 Aug, 4.00pm; Tue 7 Aug, 6.30pm; Sat 11 Aug 11.00am.

Rating: 4.5/5

As debate rages as to who whether the Brothers Lumiere or Thomas Edison should get credit for inventing the movie camera, one thing is certain – their collective hearts would swell with pride if they could seen what Victor Kossakovsky had done with light and image in ¡Vivan las Antipodas!

The Russian-born documentarian has created one of the most visually awe-inspiring films since Ron Fricke’s landmark enviro-travelogue Baraka left audiences breathless in 1992. Be it vast frames made still but for the panting of an old dog or swirling aerial images of violent confrontations between rivers of lava and the chill of the sea, Kossakovsky’s lens captures the beauty and complexities of man and natures shared existence.

The premise is a simple one. Kossakovsky imagined how different life would be between one point on the global surface and its polar opposite. Therefore, we enjoy the company of two droll toll collectors living a life of solitude in Entre Rios in the Argentine countryside, only to have the director flip his perspective 180 degrees to its antipodean counterpart – the grand metropolis that is modern-day Shanghai. And so it goes...from a the majesty of Russia’s Lake Baikal region to a shepherd’s ramshackle hut in chilly Patagonia; from the blackened landscape of Hawaii’s volcanic coast to a dusty Botswanan village; and, from the a rocky outpost in Miraflores, Spain, to a beach at Castle Point on New Zealand’s South Island, where a great whale has grounded itself.

After the initial wonder at the images on-screen subsides (it never completely disappears), intellectualising the narrative-free imagery leads to the conclusion that, like Baraka and Godfrey Reggio’s ‘Qatsi’ trilogy (Koyaanisqatsi, Powaqqatsi and Naqoyqatsi), ¡Vivan las Antipodas! is most concerned with painting a portrait of mankind as a single entity. Each of the disparate regions and their inhabitants share such commonalities as weather, the curve of the landscape and various co-habitants (the presence of animals and their relationship to man is common throughout). ‘We are one’ may have seemed like a twee message in the hands of a lesser artist, but Kossakovsky handles it with grace and intelligence.

It may be all too ethereal for some. There were some walk-outs during the SFF screening I attended, patrons no doubt expecting a more traditional documentary approach (ie, narration) that states and restates the filmmakers intention. But that wouldn’t have worked in the case of ¡Vivan las Antipodas!; it is a film concerned with man’s experience on the planet and, as such, is best viewed in that context. It asks its viewers to examine their own place in the world by glimpsing the vast sameness of us all, regardless of time and place.

Oh, and for the record, Sydney was never an option for inclusion in ¡Vivan las Antipodas! The point on the map directly opposite the CBD is....well, look for yourself....

References (1)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Response
    Response: index program
    Great Site, Continue the beneficial work. With thanks!

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>