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Video > Couch Trip

Couch Trip

Picture Terrence Malick directing a script by Manoel de Oliveira, or something ...

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Published 8/12/2009

The Window
Film Movement

The first scene is introduced at dawn, and it fades into view like an old Polaroid, slowly and magically taking shape. Shots that follow feel like paintings, and the minimal story has the epic intimacy of a great novel, suggesting depths of emotion bubbling beneath the threadbare screenplay. The Window demands these comparisons to other media because there are so few films like it — it values the unspoken more than the spoken, the image more than the word, the abstract more than the literal. It centers on an elderly writer, confined to a bed, connected to an IV and living on an enormous, remote rural estate. The writer is set to see his citified son, a world-renowned pianist, for the first time in 40 years. Other characters populate his home in the hours leading up to his son's arrival, including his doctor, nurses, maids and a piano tuner whose presence has profound symbolic heft. As a film about revisiting youth, coming to terms with old age and the natural beauty of everyday surroundings, The Window is, per the filmmaker's essay included in this DVD, inspired by Bergman's Wild Strawberries. I would submit that the result more resembles Terrence Malick directing a script by Manoel de Oliveira, somehow capturing poetic ether between memories and dreams. You don't want to miss it. —John Thomason

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