SCREEN QUEST: THE ORNITHOLOGIST

RADIANT CIRCUS spent an evening trussed up in the backwoods with THE ORNITHOLOGIST at ICA London (10 OCT). Here’s our writeup.

NOW SHOWING: We spent an evening trussed up in the backwoods with THE ORNITHOLOGIST at ICA London (10 OCT). Here’s our writeup.

THE ORNITHOLOGIST (2016, Portugal, France, Brazil, 117min)

From Portuguese filmmaker João Pedro Rodrigues, THE ORNITHOLOGIST is one of those oddities that drags you kicking and screaming through the experience but doesn’t really worry about where it – or you – ends up.

Ostensibly it’s a study of faith and transformation as pro-twitcher Fernando (Paul Hamy) finds himself in the woods through a series of increasingly bizarre encounters. Visually, it’s an adventurous film odyssey in which our hero gets strung up like an S&M chicken, pissed on by the devil and sates his lust with a mute goatherd who isn’t shy of drinking directly from the teat. His increasingly brutal torments are witnessed by the bird life he was dispatched to observe, a lens through which we glimpse his chances of redemption.

NOW SHOWING: We spent an evening trussed up in the backwoods with THE ORNITHOLOGIST at ICA London (10 OCT). Here’s our writeup.

Don’t go expecting to make much sense of it. Do go relishing Fernando’s fall down the rabbit hole. The audience we saw it with had made up their minds by the time of the Euro pop end credits. Parting the Red Sea, half took the song as a nail in the coffin of a self-indulgent mess. The other half, RADIANT CIRCUS amongst them, skipped gaily as we headed back out into the night.

HUNGRY FOR MORE?

NOW SHOWING: THE ORNITHOLOGIST screens at ICA until 18 OCT 2017. NOW SHOWING: THE ORNITHOLOGIST screens at ICA until 18 OCT 2017.


Featured images: THE ORNITHOLOGIST (2016).

Radiant Circus