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Parable

February 16, 2013

Cinequest 2010

Parable

PARABLE is an incredible film which obviously had a great deal of thought put into it and in return gives the viewer a lot to think about.  Should you go see it?  Well.

Directed by Jon Jost, whose films are referred to as “tone poems”, PARABLE is a symbolic commentary on the Bush administration and was made before GWB left office.  There is not much dialog and it can be very confusing if you are not taking it for what it is – a symbolic commentary.  There are scenes with a man in a chair silently trying to unjumble a knotted rope. Scenes with a man in a red shirt who is tied by a rope to a woman in a blue dress.  And there are some very violent scenes strewn throughout.  The first five minutes of the film are so slow I think they are just meant to weed out any non-serious partakers.  This film forces the viewer to pay attention and to think, so much so that it will be difficult for the average festivalgoer to sit still for it.

parable1In fact, there were over 100 people in the audience when it started.  At the 45 minute mark half the audience had left.  By the time the Q&A began there were 17 people left to ask questions, but ask they did.  Those 17 left were thrilled that they had stayed through the whole film and felt rewarded for having done so.  The Q&A with actor Stephen Taylor was one of the best I have attended as everyone left was so excited about what they had just seen.  In return, Taylor knew the director well (Jost was out of the country with another film) and was able to explain and talk about a great deal more than he had anticipated.

The truth is, this is an amazing film, but it is for a much smaller segment of the film festival audience.  You must be prepared to think hard and to decipher the symbolism if you are going to watch this film, but go into the theater with that mindset you will be greatly rewarded.

I have found Jon Jost’s other films on Amazon, but this one can only be purchased from his website (that I could find). If you’re feeling adventurous, or take filmmaking very seriously, I do recommend this film for a specific movie goer.

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