“Kärlekens Krigare” (2009)
Simon Staho’s “Kärlekens Krigare” ( “Warriors of Love”) is an interesting use of the limited regressive tools of filmmaking resulting by ignoring just over a century’s worth of accumulated advances in style and technological shortcutting which have come to form the modern grammar of cinema.
At times the film often seems in conscious defiance of the very term “motion picture” to predate all but the most elemental of building blocks of the cinema with its stubborn use of a fixed lens on a still subject; often a character stiffly posed to stare directly through the fourth wall and, except for minute facial muscular variations, remaining frozen in time as if enslaved by the extended exposure that was a prerequisite in the early photographic process. Rather than the continuous stimulus overload of a progressive visual narrative, in which the mind is captive to the onrush of often inconsequential but distracting information, Staho’s film moves at an appreciably measured pace allowing a full absorption and contemplation of the contents and ramifications of every scene and every hesitant utterance. With his method of filming “Kärlekens Kigare”, Staho not only bridges the gap between the aesthetics of still photography and the motion picture which accordingly alters the way in which the viewer perceives the material. The audience is encouraged to deeply observe with the intellect and not just to merely see.
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