Sunday 4 October 2009

The Eye of God

True North (2006, Ariel Films, director/writer Steve Hudson) has won many prizes at film festivals, including one for its interesting and quirky editing.

The story is about a desperate Scottish fisherman whose father is about to lose his boat to the banks, when he meets people smugglers and on an impulse takes on a load of illegal Chinese migrants, themselves desperate for a better life.

The film is beautifully shot, on a boat on the North Sea. Towards the end of the film, a shot from high above looks down on the tiny boat on a stormy sea, in low light: what I have come to think of as The Eye of God looking down - a kind of shorthand for a preoccupation with morality or is it love and compassion?

Used most memorably at the end of Lars van Triers' film Breaking the Waves, and from time to time in Silent Light by Carlos Reygeras. Is the device becoming a little tired?

PS Adding this a week later: I discovered a film recently made entitled The Eye of God, and at the opening of a recent art exhibition, the term was used to describe a painting.

Am concluding that it is the term 'The Eye of God' itself which is the cliche. Also remembered that a most favourite possession is the book of Yann Arthus Bertrand's photos entitled The Earth from the Air, each picture fresh and beautiful. The original French title is the same.

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