If you liked Leviathan, it was a poetic, psychedelic experience of being on a fishing boat like you’ve never seen before. If you didn’t like Leviathan, it’s a physically dark, confusing, somewhat nauseating mess. I’m in the second camp. It’s interesting, sure, but I wish I could have seen what the hell they were doing at any point. Did so much of it really have to be at night?
Created by the Harvard Sensory Ethnography Lab, and in particular by Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel, who are the credited directors, Leviathan is an immersive work of, well, anthropology. The closest analogy (which is really close, actually) is the show The Deadliest Catch, but without a narrative. There’s no voiceover, no music, no anything but scene after scene of life on a fishing boat. Fish are caught, fish float in tanks, fish are butchered (unpleasantly, for those of us bleeding-heart liberal types), fish carcasses are disposed of, fish heads roll (literally). Continue reading