La cinquième saison
starring Aurelia Poirier, Django Schrevens, Sam Louwyck, Gill Vancompernolle
written and directed by Peter Brosens & Jessica Woodworth
by Walter Chaw It begins as a puzzle, the active-engagement kind where a film, maybe an art film not very good and certainly not lacking in pretension, wears all the hopes of its creators on its sleeve. But then, out of nowhere, Peter Brosens and Jessica Woodworth's The Fifth Season (La cinquième saison) ties together all the pretty pictures into an entirely honourable updating of a few of the ideas from, but most importantly the atmosphere of, Robin Hardy's The Wicker Man. Truth be told, the pictures are more than just pretty: they're stunning at times, and it's easy to be mesmerized by them--by their surrealism and meticulous framing, and, at the end of it all, by their gorgeous absurdity. This is rapturous filmmaking that in its first minutes watches two teens kiss, tentatively, in the cold and the woods, their breath trembling the soft down on each other's faces. We feel, with them, the discovery of something new. The Fifth Season is a film about textures, but rather than just be a film about textures, it does something that maybe Terrence Malick's movies do, certainly Bela Tarr's: it makes its form comment on its function.