THE March film for Exmoor’s Cinema Obscura is The Sky Trembles and The Earth is Afraid and the Two Eyes are not Brothers – described by the film society as “the longest title for a film we have ever shown” – on Sunday 15th at Wiveliscombe Primary School hall.
Described by the reviewer in The Guardian as “a challenging, cerebral slow-burner from the artist and film-maker Ben Rivers,” it has multiple narratives and is loosely based on a savage short story published in 1947 and set in Morocco, by the American author Paul Bowles, author of The Sheltering Sky, who lived in Tangier for more than 50 years and first published in 1947.
Moving between documentary, fiction and fable, the film observes its protagonist, film-maker Oliver Laxe, directing his own film Las Mimosas in Morocco, only to walk off set and into Rivers’ narrative.
It is shot against the staggering beauty of the Moroccan landscape, from the rugged terrain of the Atlas Mountains to the stark and surreal emptiness of the Sahara, with its encroaching sands and abandoned film sets. Laxe is drawn into a hallucinatory and perilous adventure of cruelty and madness to form a multi-layered excavation into the illusion of cinema itself.