Wednesday, 16 December 2009


Advertising itself as an ‘ambient film’, Milky Way comprises a series of seemingly unrelated simple shots. The film starts with a shot of a wind turbine set against a deep blue sky, its spinning blades creating the only movement in what is otherwise a desolate, post-apocalyptic landscape. Next, we are on a hillside, watching two campers struggle to keep their tent on the ground. In the third shot, a narrow walkway cuts through a tranquil lake scene. A woman crosses the scene, abandoning a pram along the way. The fourth shot shows two cyclists practising tricks on a heap of rocks. The two stop briefly to gaze in wonderment at a nest billowing smoke. A group of old people relax in a swimming pool. A bouncy castle is set up in a car park. A dishevelled woman is rescued from a cargo crate. The film closes with the sight of two kids practising gymnastics against the night sky.

Each scene is pregnant with suspense, unsettled by some sense of disequilibrium – for example, an old man changes partners in the swimming pool, without reaction from anyone else. Not a single word is uttered throughout the film, as if spoken language were a redundant form of expression. The subtle soundtrack adds a dynamic dimension to the experience, recreating the deafening rumble of emptiness often experienced in cities. Many have dismissed the film for lack of apparent depth or purpose, but these are perhaps the same people who forget to dream at night.

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