Kimstim Films | Release Date: March 8, 2019
8.8
USER SCORE
Universal acclaim based on 13 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
12
Mixed:
1
Negative:
0
Watch Now
Review this movie
VOTE NOW
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Check box if your review contains spoilers 0 characters (5000 max)
8
JLuis_001Sep 2, 2019
Bleak, depressive, grim, overlong, overwhelming, intimate, captivating, absorbing and greatly filmed by a young director who unfortunately took his own life after finishing it. His incredible debut also turns out to be his epitaph. PrettyBleak, depressive, grim, overlong, overwhelming, intimate, captivating, absorbing and greatly filmed by a young director who unfortunately took his own life after finishing it. His incredible debut also turns out to be his epitaph. Pretty **** sad if you ask me.

It's hard to review this film because I don't even know how to describe it. In a way it feels like a BĂ©la Tarr film where the time is passing while the camera takes it in and capturates it.

The film covers its characters in a 24-hour period and that's the interesting thing before the gloomy elements of what it portrays.
None of them is a memorable character and it's not that their lives are so flashy to be dazzled by them however you can't stop watching, because the most amazing thing about this film taking into account its lenght is that once you start, you need to know where it's going and where it will end and perhaps that's the most notable part of it, because when the time comes to the final part despite its pessimism it certainly makes you reflect a little on what it means to live day by day especially when life is not a bed of roses : Tomorrow will come, always will.
It can probably get worse or maybe things will somehow get better, because in the end that's the best thing you can hope for.

I've gotta tell you this is not an easy film. Honestly it's not. And if this style of cinema is not your thing, don't even try, but if you consider giving it a chance, then I can only tell you to be patient and be captivated.
Expand
2 of 2 users found this helpful20
All this user's reviews
10
PlasticsOct 19, 2019
A big great tale of loneliness. A tour-de-force direction of a debut movie and a story that will stay with you for a long time.
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
9
AnanisaptaJan 26, 2020
My wife walked out of this grim film after the first half-hour. I stayed to the end and was not sorry. It's NOT entertainment... more a slice of life.

The lives portrayed are not those we should emulate. Most of the film concerns the lowest
My wife walked out of this grim film after the first half-hour. I stayed to the end and was not sorry. It's NOT entertainment... more a slice of life.

The lives portrayed are not those we should emulate. Most of the film concerns the lowest rungs of the social ladder: people not favored by nature or by nurture. Their backdrop is a bleak industrial landscape that Americans would call "Rust Belt". Their plans often go awry in catastrophic ways. Their relationships seem to impoverish rather than uplift them. Their language, as far as I can understand it, is simple mutterings with indistinct pronunciation and little melody. It's no wonder the director killed himself soon after finishing this film.

So why did I give this big downer a nine on a scale of ten? There is art that entertains us -- America seems to have entirely too much entertainment, to the point that entertainers' opinions are taken too seriously and some are even elected to high office. Then there is art that shows us the realities that we may not be seeing because they are too distant geographically or psycho-socially. This is one of those films. It splendidly reveals one side of modern life in China, a side that has echoes in our own past and present. This is a picture of the Americans who die from Fentanyl overdose (a drug largely supplied by China, btw). It explains why some people would rather vote for a change -- any change -- rather than continuation of the status quo, and will forgive any amount of chicanery if it makes life better on the margins.

In this crucial moment of history, when Asia and possibly the wider world are threatened with a catastrophic corona-virus pandemic that could decimate China's economy and its population (if not the world's), An Elephant Sitting Still is a poignant look at those who will surely be first to die. Mean and backwards as they seem, they should not be forgotten.
Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
10
marinosCyprusJan 22, 2020
This is a masterpiece of a movie and it has to be viewed in a cinema to be felt completely. It may be depressing and not very easy to watch but once you watch it, it will hunt you for months to come.
Nothing more to say as this is a movie
This is a masterpiece of a movie and it has to be viewed in a cinema to be felt completely. It may be depressing and not very easy to watch but once you watch it, it will hunt you for months to come.
Nothing more to say as this is a movie that belongs to a category of its own
Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
7
amheretojudgeOct 2, 2019
When it finally sets free, sets apart, sets loose, the sweet fragrant floods in, inside you, washing away your anxiety.

An Elephant Sitting Still Bo Hu, the writer and director, whose first project, this project, is an almost four hour long
When it finally sets free, sets apart, sets loose, the sweet fragrant floods in, inside you, washing away your anxiety.

An Elephant Sitting Still

Bo Hu, the writer and director, whose first project, this project, is an almost four hour long achievement. Now, usually, it is advised to shoot something, some short film or a video before taking on a big project like this. And he has previously worked behind the camera. But even if he hadn't, this journey of making a film like such would have taught him well. Joking aside, the film never gets to that weak point. It doesn't have any. In fact there isn't a loose thread for you to follow up to that alpha material. You can't deconstruct the engineering of this film.

The film starts from an ambiguous lost point following an equally oblivious character in each scenario. Capturing a day of these fellows' lives, the film is difficult to watch for two reasons. Don't worry they are deliberately installed to speak more expressively. First, are the characters. Each character that we come across with, is always the by product of its miserable fate. As in, it is never in control of what is to happen to him or her. Either someone knows and is keeping its mouth shut than someone can't control it.

And if some can control it, it doesn't have the authority to and if someone has the authority to, then it itself is lost, misdirected and misinterpreted. Second, the cinematography. If we are following four lives in An Elephant Sitting Still, we are literally doing that. The camera doesn't leave them at any cost. The result is a close up shots of these various incidents captured through their expressions, performances. You feel congested. You aren't able to breathe. Horrible things go down and the emotion adds more trouble for the audience. Neither meltdowns nor reserved nature gives us a shoulder to hang on to.
Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
10
TheTrueMoviesJun 18, 2019
AN ELEPHANT SITTING STILL is a masterpiece, 230 minutes that never make the viewer lose of wish to watch it till the end.
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
9
MahmusSep 25, 2020
Really great and very depressing.
It might be slow, but not boring. Plus, when it picks up, it really picks up. It's beautifuly directed and it's hard to take your eyes away from it.
I love the atmosphere of this film. It all feels wierdly
Really great and very depressing.
It might be slow, but not boring. Plus, when it picks up, it really picks up. It's beautifuly directed and it's hard to take your eyes away from it.

I love the atmosphere of this film. It all feels wierdly familiar. I can feel the cold air. I can smell the environment. The closing scenes in particular I think will evoke an odd sense of nostalgia in a lot of people. The fact that almost every scene is shot in long takes makes it even more immersive.

It can drag quite a bit at times. With a runtine of almost four hours and a pace so slow it would make Andrei Tarkovsky jealous, it was always going to drag, but it never stops being completely entrancing and heartbreaking.

This is a must-watch.
Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
10
AncientAmberDec 10, 2019
I watched this film a couple months ago. I probably couldn't tell you the plot other than some scenes and images and a rough outline. What I can tell you is that the film leaves has a weight and presence that lingers a long time after itI watched this film a couple months ago. I probably couldn't tell you the plot other than some scenes and images and a rough outline. What I can tell you is that the film leaves has a weight and presence that lingers a long time after it ends. There are only a handful of films that I think have a truly unique feel and tone and communicate an emotion that words alone never could (Lost in Translation comes to mind), this film is such a one.

If I had to try, I would say that Elephant is a distillation of depression, with a few things added. One such thing is a an element of disgust, I'm not sure with what, perhaps the state, or perhaps the soulless grey urbanisation that is almost a character in itself. While watching the film I felt as though the director were trying to show me something (I didn't know he'd died at this point), perhaps his own vision of life in general, or perhaps a vision of certain areas of China, perhaps both. If it were a simple thing he was trying to say he would have said it; if you want to understand, you must watch the film.
Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews