Saturday, June 24, 2017

Film Review: At least the surreal religious allegory The Ornithologist is pretty to look at

By Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
"The Ornithologist" directed by João Pedro Rodrigues; Strand Releasing; Opens June 23, IFC Center and Film Society of Lincoln Center, New York City
A nude swimmer, hunky like an underwear model, slits the surface of a pond at dawn. He slips a canoe into a river, only to be caught in rapids and rescued by two Chinese hikers lost on a Christian pilgrimage along the Way Of St. James, who string him from a tree in rope bondage and threaten to castrate him. He goes skinny-dipping with a deaf, goat-teat-sucking shepherd named Jesus. He is shot by topless huntresses in a forest clearing. And like the jokes goes, “What do you call this act?” “The Ornithologist.” In João Pedro Rodrigues' obscurantist and presumably very personal narrative, which bears disconcerting similarities to a grating American indie called The Catechism Cataclysm, he is also an allegorical stand-in for the Catholic patron saint of lost things, St. Anthony, who was also born Fernando. [More]
Movie poster for "The Ornithologist"