[Screenshot]It’s always fun to see a film I’m pretty sure most other folks haven’t seen, because then I feel like by writing them up I’m maybe telling people something they haven’t heard a million times already. I suspect Tuvalu is one of those cases. It’s a very peculiar film and a highly stylized one. It’s almost entirely free of dialogue (one of the longest, and most comprehensible speeches in the movie is Gregor saying “Technology, System, Profit!”) and filmed in monotint, so the overall feel is of a silent movie. And it works, and doesn’t feel gimmicky. The actors have gotten very much into the parts, emoting in the grand, sweeping way one expects from a silent film (especially a German silent film: Doktor Caligari has a long shadow). The only influence of modernity on this odd period piece is focus on technology and different characters’ perspectives thereon and uses therefor. The technology in question has a certain Victorian charm, which puts this into something of a Jean-Pierre Jeunet headspace, in my mind at least, what with the decaying technostructure. And yet, it has a distinct sense of place, despite the variety of French and German and probably other influences: there is a very strong visual feeling is of a dying port city in central Europe, presented through the tenements, the docks, and the crumbling bathhouse.

Anyways, it’s a quirktastic fun ride, and undeservedly obscure.

See also: IMDB, Wikipedia.


About Jake
I'm a mathematics professor at the University of Louisville, and a geek.

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