Two Years at Sea | Chicago Reader

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90 minutes

The first feature-length effort by noted experimental filmmaker Ben Rivers demonstrates such mastery of the image that it's worth seeing for the textures alone. Shooting on black-and-white celluloid, he creates a hazy, granulated look that suggests an old daguerreotype come to life, which feels appropriate considering his subject is a human anachronism. Former sailor Jake Williams (whom Rivers first documented in the 2006 short This Is My Land) lives a solitary life in the Scottish wilderness, scavenging for food and constructing items from industrial refuse. This is filled with gorgeous natural imagery, but it isn't an environmentalist statement or even a straight documentary: in one of the more audacious sequences, Williams gazes in wonder as his trailer floats to the top of a tree.

See our full review: Our guide to the Chicago Underground Film Festival

Our guide to the Chicago Underground Film Festival

The 19th annual fest opens Thursday night at Gene Siskel Film Center »

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