Saturday, 7 January 2012
Gideon Koppel, the director of this remarkable film, has used locked off cameras (ie they don't move) to portray the village of Trefeurig in mid-Wales, east of Aberystwyth. The photography then is something between still and film: moving photographs perhaps. The effect is to seem to remove the photographer from proceedings, making the viewer a witness. The experience of watching the film s therefore more active than is usual, and I think this is why it's so very engaging. It is melancholy, certainly, but not sad. There is, perhaps, the tiniest hint of pretension in the words at the end, and the music by Aphex Twin is occasionally obtrusive. And the title is never explained, which is an unnecessary obfuscation. The connecting image is of a yellow library van, and 'The Library Van' would have done much better as a title. We do not need any of the words thrown onto the screen to understand what we are being shown. Still, this is a mere cavil; this is a beautiful film and highly recommended.