Take a Drink: for transitions into color
Take a Drink: for monkey screeches
Take a Drink: for whispers
Take a Drink: for books
Do a Shot: when you actually figure out what the hell is going on
By: Henry J. Fromage (Three Beers) –
When you say the words “art film”, for most folks imagines of disparate black and white imagery, oblique foreign language voiceover, and general incomprehensibility spring to mind. That’s both not an entirely accurate impression of art films as a whole, and a very apt description of Metafora.
I’ll go ahead and skip the plot summary
Metafora is an Estonian film, which you certainly don’t see everyday. I found myself most engaged with its moments of cultural and geographical specificity- beautiful white birches and snow-covered forests, a traditionally-garbed young lass. These elements give the film a fairy tale vibe, even if the tale itself evaded my grasp.
Director/Writer/Composer Sebastian Wesman’s production values are all top-notch. The imagery is fetchingly shot, the soundscape is transporting, and the score has a classical, sometimes Gregorian-sounding feel, pairing beautifully with the cinematography. Metafora is a tone poem to immerse yourself in.
Perfect for certain… states of mind
Metafora has all of the kinds of stuff that gets filmmakers like Terrence Malick labeled as pretentious. There’s trees, and trees, and books…
I mean, the title translates to “Metaphor” after all.
The main issue, and I suspect it’s also what puts many people off Malick, is the narration. Here, it’s that stereotypically whispery, opaque rumination on existence stuff that you may find more impenetrable than mysterious, especially considering the subtitles are fluently but clunkily translated. Beer certainly won’t help with that, but it might help you go with the flow.
If you’re in the mood for wholly ambiguous, quite beautiful meandering for an hour and a half, you’ll love Metafora. If you’re not, you probably won’t.