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  • Summary: Receiving its first U.S. release, Chris Marker's 1997 film, Level Five, concerns Laura (Catherine Belkhodja), a computer, and an invisible interlocutor. Laura "inherits" a task: to finish writing a video game centered on the Battle of Okinawa—a tragedy practically unknown in the West thatReceiving its first U.S. release, Chris Marker's 1997 film, Level Five, concerns Laura (Catherine Belkhodja), a computer, and an invisible interlocutor. Laura "inherits" a task: to finish writing a video game centered on the Battle of Okinawa—a tragedy practically unknown in the West that impacted the way World War II ended. [Icarus Films] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 8
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 8
  3. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. Reviewed by: Steve Macfarlane
    Aug 12, 2014
    100
    Level Five pictorializes the cruel moment when curiosity encounters tragedy, and the all-too-human abandonment of interest that can follows.
  2. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Aug 12, 2014
    100
    By using Laura as an avatar, Marker actually helps us see the visuals and their knotty meanings much more clearly. The more we watch, the more Laura softens, until — in a mind-bending conceit — her very status as a fictional creation is called into question. The effect is ecstatic.
  3. Reviewed by: Robert Abele
    Aug 14, 2014
    100
    It humanely, intelligently questions the very nature of our desire to make sense of the past with the tools of the present, when the human mind remains the most aggressively obliterating battlefield of all.
  4. Reviewed by: Nikola Grozdanovic
    Aug 18, 2014
    83
    The theories in Level Five simultaneously thrive in realms of computer science, ethnography, and cognitive psychology, while the picture remains cloaked by the emotional weight of a historical tragedy that marked an entire nation.
  5. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Aug 14, 2014
    80
    Its themes are a bit nostalgic and some of its technology looks dated, but there is nothing else in theaters now that feels quite as new.
  6. Reviewed by: Adam Nayman
    Aug 14, 2014
    80
    Level Five doesn’t achieve the poetic heights of Sans Soleil, but that might be because its project is more desultory; where the earlier work merely hints at the difficulty of looking at history without a filter, this sister film all but gives up the ghost.
  7. Reviewed by: Bill Stamets
    Sep 27, 2014
    63
    Level Five (1996) is a poetic if occasionally opaque film essay on the 1945 Battle of Okinawa.

See all 8 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 1 out of 1
  1. Oct 14, 2014
    2
    A war documentary with French poetry and musings dubbed on top. It's a bit ridiculous. Some may like this sort of chimera, but I think itA war documentary with French poetry and musings dubbed on top. It's a bit ridiculous. Some may like this sort of chimera, but I think it would have been much better as a straight documentary. Expand

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