★★★★★★★★★ 12 April 2020
Not everyone will get the weight of this film, but it has that rare ability to stick with you, to shape your perception of your "reality" and leaves you feeling that you're already living in a post-apocalyptic state (especially in these strange times). Yes, it's low budget, but does not suffer because of this. The lonely figure with her radio wandering lost through empty spaces will always haunt with you. An underground success worthy of your time.
★★★★★★★★ 14 April 2020
Glad that I saw this movie but its a hard watch. It's bleak and slow but that's exactly what would happen after a nuclear war when no one is left. It reminded me a bit of On the Beach but less kitsch. Performances were good and cinematography was superb. Don't recommend this to anyone who wants an action movie. Its more film festival indie art film rather than a movie if that says anything. If that's what you want out of 90 mins then you'll rate it high but if you want a film that's pure veg out entertainment, don't watch it. I'd like to see it again because its been on my mind after I saw it the first time.
VERY TIMELY FOR 2020
★★★★★★★★★ 16 April 2020
The gas masks, craziness and sickness was feeling very timely now in 2020.. very creepy and left me with questions in the end, but kept me entertained and drawn in.
★★★★★★★★★ 15 April 2020
Black Garden is a great movie to watch in a Covid-19 lock-down when all you have late at night is a bottle of vodka and a sense that we're actually at the start of the end in the real world. I love dark movies, and being a big fan of Dogs in Space, this had the same thread. Its certainly the slowest movie I've ever seen but that worked for me because of the subject matter and the music and sound effects create a dull constant nagging to remind me and maybe others too that this could happen at any second. I love the acting from the lead Kate and the older guy made me really hate him. I guess that what a good performance is in movies. Getting to the end was like a psychological endurance test and the last shot gutted me. Its super depressing but I guess that's the point of the movie? Don't watch this film without understanding what its going to do to you afterwards when you start to think about movies as a beacon of what its talking about is a little too real in reality. Its like On the Beach with a baseball bat to the head from slowness and the understanding we're in this situation now.
★★★★★★★★★ 14 April 2020
This is a real anti-establishment film, gutsy, fatalistic, and properly indie. It has everything and nothing to do with politics, in life, and film, and yet, because it could very well happen to you, the everyday becomes sinister, the mundane even threatening. If the horror is in not seeing, and not knowing, the story that we all know how it ends anyway, then the bits in between are where it tries to survive, almost like the story itself is dying,
It really makes you conscious of the whole experience of watching a film, when all you have are these moments to yourself where nothing is happening, and you can feel that nothing is something, that nothing means something, in a helpless kind of way. There is a slowness here which is deliberate, and articulate, and that forces you to be uncomfortable with being uncomfortable.
The execution of the film is just that. It drags you along, it traps you inside, and then it takes its time. In this sense, time is doubled, dilated, makes my feet ache with an acute boredom that is also nothing short of privilege in comparison to Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Chernobyl, Fukushima. The need to remember these things.
★★★★★★★★★ 14 April 2020
I must say that I was in the audience at the North Bellarine Film Festival in November last year and had the pleasure of watching the premiere of Black Garden. Its worth pointing out at this stage that the movie is dogma although not related to Dogma 95, but its an art film nonetheless and if you're not into that kind of genre then its not something you should watch to expect a cookie cutter VFX bonanza Hollywood film, which it is definitely not. But if cinema studies and especially fine arts films are your cup of tea, then you absolutely must see this movie simply because its one of the best dogma films that Ive watched in a very long time. I love a bit of Lars T in my watching habituals and this one is no exception although I'd say that a Bela Tarr movie and Black Garden would sit well against each other. Its a film that is a must watch if you like a Tarr movie, and a conversation starter in the current political climate. Its a bleak and miserable film but I found it very well done and rather meaningful in the way it deals with nothingness as a point of Nietzschean crisis. Admirably, I watched it straight after seeing A Clockwork Orange so maybe it set the scene for me a bit more than say something else less enduring. This film makes you think about betrayal in a whole new light but so refreshing to see such a slow film achieve a lot in what it gives you from an intellectual basis.
★★★★★★★ 6 November 2020
This is not your common apocalypse shlock fest, but an art house film that makes itself more accessible to a wider audience with it's dreary atmosphere. Normally dreary would be a bad thing, but, in this case, that is what we came for. The hopelessness and despair just rolls off the screen like a fog, enveloping the viewer and putting them deep in the story. The director made a brilliant move filming in B/W, it adds to the oppressive feel that the subject matter demands, other creators in this genre should take note. Gamers will know what i'm talking about by comparing the bright, blue, sunny skies of Fallout 4 with the constant overcast, gloomy, greenish hued Fallout 3. You feel like you are seeing a realistic aftermath of a disastrous war.( without a single scene of gratuitous destruction to boot). Make no mistake, this is not a film where you can put your brain in neutral and coast through it, it makes you work, you have to actively watch it. The lead character Kate is wonderfully portrayed, she easily wins you over. The villain is used sparingly, we only gain brief glimpses of him and that sets the perfect tone. Now for the not so good, We don't need to see an actor taking a dump and wiping, stop this immediately. If it doesn't serve the story, it's just cringe. The movie starts with several characters and they are swiftly disappeared with almost undo haste, in a film as long as this one, these characters could have been developed more and their fates more clearly portrayed. Is this for everyone? no. If you are the type who feels most "end of the world" movies give short shrift to the more human aspects in favor of leather clad goons shooting everything up, like the title says, the juice is worth the squeeze.