basato su un libro di qualche anno prima, James Marsh tira fuori un film impressionante, per tema e svolgimento.
ed è il suo primo lungometraggio, tanto di cappello.
il film a me è piaciuto molto, se non si è capito - Ismaele
…Marsh says of the stories: "The starting point was definitely photographic. Start with an image, a single image, and then move - a lot of long tracking shots, to keep a sense of the still image moving." The result is that the film feels like we are witnessing the events as depicted by animated ghosts. The cinematography is intoxicating. Slowing the camera down to 30 frames per second, and shooting in stark monochrome, Marsh (and DOP Eigil Bryld) create a fluid and eerie effect that captures the essence of the original photographs. It produces the same kind of dark lyrical fairytale quality as Charles Laughton's Night of The Hunter. Combined with a score as diverse as Brahms and DJ Shadow, the effect is hypnotic.
Interspersed with these tales of grim survival are colour footage sections of modern day Black River Falls. Initially, these appear like a documentary version of the opening shots of David Lynch's Blue Velvet - strange old faces and waving children, brass bands shuffling down the middle of a wide empty street. Marsh then introduces voice-overs that question the serenity of this town that evolved from a turbulent past. Police reports of severed heads discovered in bushes and an unidentified local woman stating "Ask almost anyone here, and they'll tell you they're depressed." play over the images. Marsh has said of his intentions behind the film:
"The first choice I made (was) not to try and explain the social-political-cultural history of anything. The stories are based on a respect for these individual tragedies and disasters. If the film lacks one thing, it's a governing idea on that level--but it would have been a travesty." Despite this, Marsh seems to be suggesting that there is not such a huge difference between the current residents of small-town America and their brutal, desperate forebears…
The wonderfully stunning Wisconsin Death Trip is unlike any documentary I have ever seen, but then again, its story is unlike any ever told. The quiet town of Black River Falls, Wisconsin, seemingly like any other in turn of the century America, was suddenly and mysteriously overtaken by violence, jealousy, and hysteria. No explanation is offered, and instead of judging these folks as products of a less enlightened age, filmmaker James Marsh, at least in my interpretation, the madness that occurred so long ago. I say this not only because the film is a stunning collection of crisp cinematography, lush vistas, and well-crafted re-creations, but also out of respect for the film’s ambiguity. Had this been an attack on religious fundamentalism, or the exposure of a hideous disease, we might feel sympathy or even sorrow, but is content to present these bizarre events as if they are the most common things imaginable. Using actual newspaper reports from the 1890s, the film’s narration (provided largely by Ian Holm) is matter-of-fact, detached, and not at all pained by murder, brutality, and a rash of suicides…
…If sitting in a library basement reading random newspaper articles on microfilm for two hours is your idea of a good time, then this movie has your name all over it. However, the meandering narrative, which grows quickly tedious, will be insufferable after an hour and a half, if not much sooner.
…“Wisconsin Death Trip” has few peers in the world of documentary. It is partly fictional in its depictions, it is drawn without a conclusive bent and it was created to infuse feeling rather than inform. It has echoes of Peter Weir’s classic “Picnic at Hanging Rock” and the opening of P.T. Anderson’s “Magnolia” with a similar but more subdued feeling of John Borowski’s “H. H. Holmes” documentary. Incredible B&W photography, stellar editing and a sparse but effective soundtrack leave the viewer with not only memories of what they’ve seen but emotions and a sense mystical connectedness about the events in the film. However this film is categorized it is clear that James Marsh and crew have created a very strong impression. If Matisse was right then "Wisconsin Death Trip" is an expose' of the soul of Black Water Falls as well as the emotional tenor of those in the audience. From this reviewer's point of view that is a pretty impressive feat.