Film Festival & Photography Contest
REASONS AND ENDINGS
2020, GERMANY, 02:30:00
Written & Directed by: Jeff Mitchell
Film Critic, the founder of Leitura Filmica
Thus, instead of working together towards a sheer apprehension, as it is usual in audiovisual oeuvres, here the audio and the visual stimulations are in competition. That is why it becomes so overwhelming to watch Reasons and Endings.
With this peculiar experiment, director Jeff Mitchell provides an intriguing material for theorists in the Semiotics area. After all, one can build a profound theory investigating the meanings in the signs in this film may or not communicate. Nevertheless, Reasons and Endings is not for the average spectator.
The unusual structure of Reasons and Endings results in a challenging experience to its viewers. The movie brings together footage shot in several places around the world, scenes of a couple arguing about their breaking-up, and the voice of a narrator talking about various theories, with an anthropological perspective. And none of these elements are related to each other. Although the film itself suggests one connection, in the end it is up to the spectator to decide if there is a link here and which one is it.
Nevertheless, this viewing experience is exhausting. After all, the movie is three hour and thirty minutes long and it is not a narrative feature film but essentially experimental.
In fact, this subplot of the couple has a narrative, and this would sound more evident if it were assembled apart from the rest of the movie. In this montage, these scenes are intercalated with (apparently) random imagens and narrations. For this sequence, there is no alternative ways for the spectator than to follow the development of the relationship in crisis, even with the surprising conclusion at the end.
Cast: Mary Regan, Jeff Mitchell
Produced by: Jeff Mitchell
He told me that someone else once said...
The breaking-up segments are spread over the movie. Contrary to the rest of the film, the scenes are shot intentionally with an amateurish approach. There are only a few shot/reverse-shot sequences, as the classical cinema gives place to long one-shots. The camera in-hand moves from one character to the other and sometimes the image is out of focus. It seems that the purpose of the director, Jeff Mitchell, is to capture the authenticity, which is contradictory to the revelation of what it is about, or perhaps the intention is to deceive the viewer in order to surprise him at the conclusion. I any case, the acting is superb, and this should be praised even more after the plot reveals that the man is an actor hired by the woman to overcome a recent bad experience.
On the other hand, the rest of the film defies the viewer. As he receives two stimulations, one for the eyes and the other for the ears, that are not connected, it is a challenge to capture both the narration and the images at the same time. There is a competition between these two sources of attention, and it is impossible to absorb them completely. Therefore, the spectator must choose to focus on the intriguing theories explained in the narration or in the luring images captured by professional photographers around the world.