2013, Movies

Canopy (2013, Aaron Wilson)

This is a film that seeks to tell a realistic story of what it would have been like to get shot down in the jungle during World War II. It is mostly silent and so it at least somewhat reminds me of that legendary failed Coen Brothers project, To the White Sea.  Though obviously not for everyone, the film is certainly interesting as an attempt to use film to tell a story that is perhaps closer to actual experience than the usual “behind enemy lines” films.

Such a project is inherently risky and is certainly off-putting to a certain type of moviegoer; it currently has a 4.9/10 on IMDB because whoever has found their way to it, well it’s not their kind of movie.

This is mostly a success I think. It is jarring and you don’t know much about what is going on. That is effective.

But it’s almost hyper-real; the sound is way up, given how little dialogue there is, it mostly works. The problem is that sometimes sound comes in from the character’s mind, which is adds to the disorientation but also makes it seem kind of dreamy at times, which is not the purpose. (The brief clip of his wife has the same affect.)

Another issue is the budget; the CGI at the beginning is not great as everything looks drawn. The low budget is also evident in the use of seemingly random gunshots and explosions, which sound too close to not be in the shot sometimes. Also, the way everything is shot, it’s evident that they are hiding wherever they are from the audience, as though if they pulled away they might be just outside a village or something.

But I still think it’s a noble effort, and I’d rather watch a low-budget, flawed experiment at telling a story in a new way than an average budget, rote retelling of a story we’ve seen too many times.


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