AMC Kabuki CinemasFri, Apr 26, 2013 9:30 PM Not Available
DISThu, May 9, 2013 5:30 PM Not Available
Film Info
Premiere Status:France
Year of Prod:2012
Running Time:87
Original Language:English
dir:Lucien Castaing-Taylor
Véréna Paravel
prod:Lucien Castaing-Taylor
Véréna Paravel
cam:Lucien Castaing-Taylor
Véréna Paravel
editor:Lucien Castaing-Taylor
Véréna Paravel
mus:Ernst Karel
source:The Cinema Guild
115 West 30th Street
Ste. 800
New York, NY 10001
FAX: 212-685-4717
photo:Julie Cunnah
A thrilling adventure both on the high seas and in documentary storytelling, Leviathan immerses viewers in the waterlogged toil of fishermen off the coast of New Bedford, Massachusetts, the setting of Melville’s Moby Dick. While neither the novel’s white whale nor the titular sea monster of biblical lore appear in this singular work of experimental ethnography, formidable creatures of nature and totalitarian forces of industry nonetheless haunt the North Atlantic trawler on which nameless workers battle the elements. Utilizing a passel of portable video cameras that are handed off from filmmaker to fisherman, sent sliding across the ship’s slippery deck and tossed overboard into the deep blue depths—all to achieve a constantly shifting, disorienting point of view that repeatedly rolls and roils into gorgeous abstraction—co-directors Lucien Castaing-Taylor (Sweetgrass) and Véréna Paravel (Foreign Parts, SFIFF 2011) eschew standard doc aesthetics and withhold telltale details in favor of pure aquatic sensation. Remarkable sound design—a heavy-metal mix of clanging machinery, moaning pipes, indecipherable utterances and the ceaseless swirl of stormy seas—further enhances this existential sojourn into the dead of night and the plight of labor.
-Steven Jenkins
Contemporary French Cinema Sponsors

Co-presenter: Exploratorium

Additional Information

Lucien Castaing-Taylor

Born in Liverpool in 1966, Lucien Castaing-Taylor is director of the Sensory Ethnography Lab and Film Study Center at Harvard University and founding editor of the Visual Anthropology Review, a publication of the American Anthropological Association. His films, which include In and Out of Africa (1992, co-director) and Sweetgrass (2010, co-director and cinematographer), merge ethnographic observation with unconventional documentary aesthetics.

Véréna Paravel

Véréna Paravel received her PhD in anthropology in France and began making films at Harvard’s Sensory Ethnography Lab, producing 7 Queens (2008) and five video shorts grouped as the Interface Series (2009). With J.P. Sniadecki, she co-directed the documentary Foreign Parts (SFIFF 2011).