Sebastian Hoffman’s feature length directorial debut is a complete failure. It is a film that collapses under the weight of its own self-indulgence. It hints at some profound message by its exasperatingly slow pace, cold and disconnected tone, and lifeless banal and grey dominated visual style. In the end it is disjointed and devolves into a work of torture porn. The story concerns mating flies, a sickly gym security guard (main subject) who in the end chastises himself for mutilating his genitalia, the life story of another gym employee through the position of Halley’s comet, and some arctic journey . Perhaps this is some postmodern film providing a narrative that the viewer then supplies his own interpretation. I heard one woman mutter, “Oh, I get it! He becomes a fly!” Well I get it too: it is the outcomeof the flu.
Is religion a cancer that has divided the world causing many great wars? Or is it something that gives people principles and may one day bring the world together, unified in peace? The Gardener begins by asking these questions but never answers them. To say the film’s visuals look like a high school project would be an insult to some of my own dreadful amateurish works. Basic rules of composition and correctly exposing an image are ignored. The camera often captures people prancing around the Baha’i Gardens without filling the frame while beams of bright light hinder the viewers’ vision. In The Gardenerpeople fall in love with the Baha’I faith with a complete disregard for evidence. The scariest part may be that even the followers that were interviewed failed to off a coherent defense of their beliefs. Without the use of logic, reason and evidence are not these people setting up a criterion that has seen other people fly planes into buildings?
Joshua Cabrita lives in Port Coquitlam.
© Copyright 2013