Robinson in Ruins Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 6 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: Patrick Keiller’s latest sees his shadowy, somewhat eccentric titular researcher embark on another tour of ‘sites of scientific and historical interest’ in and around Oxford. A decade after his earlier trips around London and England, film cans and writings are discovered suggesting that Robinson – though is that his real name? – resumed his investigations upon release from prison. Keen to cure the world of ‘a great malady’ (symptoms include the banking crisis, global warming, war in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the transfer of British land to obscure owners), Robinson sought – or so we’re told by an ex-lover of the now deceased narrator of the first two films – to communicate with ‘non-human intelligences’ determined to preserve life on Earth… Keiller’s witty, revealing script weaves together philosophy, the arts, history, politics, economics, science, agriculture, architecture and much else, even as surreal, mysterious and beautiful images, imbued with a deep love of the natural world, remind us of what’s at risk. Timely indeed. (BFI Homepage) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 6
  2. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Reviewed by: Mark Holcomb
    Jan 10, 2012
    A rigorous, agile, scathingly funny reckoning with a city and society in the last stages of decline.
  2. Reviewed by: Chris Cabin
    Jan 9, 2012
    Robinson's very name ties him to explorers like Crusoe and Walden, but he is also something like JLG's whispering leftist prankster who butted into 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her to intermittently spout rhetoric over images of freeways and construction sites.
  3. Reviewed by: David Parkinson
    Jan 9, 2012
    Keiller's follow up to his cine-essays London and Robinson In Space is another intelligent, thought-provoking piece of filmmaking.
  4. Reviewed by: Leslie Felperin
    Jan 9, 2012
    Although rich in ideas and always compelling to look at, writer-helmer Patrick Keiller's latest semi-experimental pic Robinson in Ruins reps a minor disappointment after his outstanding, same-veined previous works, "London" and "Robinson in Space."
  5. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Jan 10, 2012
    Comparable works like John Gianvito's "Profit Motive and the Whispering Wind," or nearly anything from cine-essayist Chris Marker's oeuvre, mine similar territory much more rewardingly.
  6. Reviewed by: Andy Webster
    Jan 12, 2012
    An exaltation of life counters the intimations of extinction, trumping the polemical despair.