The Lion Knight, a young nobelman, crosses the countryside with his faithful lion companion, out to find the Ogre, who lives off the living flesh of innocent children. On his journey he encounters Nicholas, a young man, who is on a quest of his own. Nicholas is off to save the Maiden of the Chapel, a woman who has been captured by the beast. He promises to join the Lion Knight on his quest but Nicholas decides to visit the Chapel first to seek information and council. Eugene Green's The Living World is a modern day story centered around fairy tale mythos. Think of it as an Art house version of Lord of the Rings which features forest creatures, mysticism, ogres and voyages into the spiritual world. The more films I see by Green the more I am beginning to appreciate his unique aesthetic. Green is enamored by the power of the close-up and symmetrical framing, using heavy dosages of compositions in which the character's faces fill up the screen. It's a simplistic style, yet very effective in capturing the performances of the actors as they stare into the camera as if we are peering into their souls. The Living World is a beautiful example of how a film can be remarkable fantasy-type experience with absolutely no special effects. The cinematography is incredibly well designed and together with lots of ingenuity, the film creates a simple, yet effective fantasy experience. The film relies almost entirely on well composed static shots to create this world but when the camera does move, it is felt in the story. The overall style is a bit odd, with the actors speaking in modern day English while delivering these fantastical type lines. It almost comes off as too cold or mechanical but in the end it's still effective. The Ogre's wife was a character which I found quite compelling - a woman who is trapped in hell because she is married to a beast responsible for the death of many children, including her inability to ever have them. Eugene Green's The Living World is an experience that really shows the power of shot compositions and ingenuity and while I certainly enjoyed the unique experience, it's not a particularly profound piece of filmmaking.
Love of all things cinema brought me here.