MYSTERY MOVIE: THE DISTANCE
Inverness Film Festival
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Describe the plot to anyone who hasn’t shared The Distance experience and you may find yourself getting carted off for a long stay in a locked room. Catalan film-maker Sergio Caballero tells a surreal story about three vertically-challenged Russians hired by an imprisoned, mud-encaked performance artist to steal his artwork The Distance from the deserted but guarded Siberian power plant next door to him. The film is grey and the landscape barren, but there’s a rainbow of colourful ideas locked into this film that wrongfoots you if you try to second guess what’s coming next. It makes you smile rather than laugh the whole way through and Caballero’s universe is not a great place to be an animal - there are a couple of gratuitously gross incidents, but there’s more than the odd magic moment to compensate. Also the possibility this is all an elaborate allegory for the history and present of Catalonia ...
You watch as the trio – who can move objects without touching them, talk to each other without moving their lips and communicate with far-off colleagues by sticking their hands down their trousers – take five days of preparation before the heist. But the guard has his own mission, to help a talking, smoking Japanese bucket get closer to its love …
Best quote: Who for: Fans of out-there cinema bored of formulaic Hollywood plots you can unravel too quickly. Not for the squeamish.
Quick review: Black humour set in a dirty-grey landscape inside a reinvented world … with ideas from another planet.