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Make Way for 'Leviathan'

Expressionistic fishing documentary hits Austin next week

By Monica Riese, 11:47AM, Sun. Apr. 14, 2013

Leviathan
Leviathan

Next weekend, Austinites will have a rare opportunity to screen Leviathan, a fishing documentary by filmmakers Vérena Paravel and Lucien Castain-Taylor that has been sweeping film festivals since 2012.

Except it's not really a fishing documentary.

Described by critics as "breathtaking," "avant-garde," and "unnerving and sometimes nauseating," Leviathan is notable for its unconventional form. It eschews the standard trappings of most documentaries – interviews, voiceover, general distance from the subject – and opts instead for a literally immersive experience by means of 12 cameras strapped to fisherman, fastened to boats, and plunged underwater. The result is, as you can see in the trailer below, a deafeningly up-close nature film … sort of.

Hell, even NPR described it as "a self-conscious tone poem," so you could understand how we might find it difficult to describe, especially since it hasn't yet made its way to the Austin market.

But that's about to change.

For two days only, the Alamo Drafthouse will bring Leviathan to the Ritz for afternoon showings Saturday, April 20, and Sunday, April 21.

And then, on Monday, April 22, you have one final opportunity to catch the film, courtesy of Stateside Independent, which is presenting Leviathan in a double feature with Sweetgrass, a previous work by the filmmakers that follows shepherds in Montana for another visceral doc. Between the two showings, there will be a Skype Q&A with the director.

Either way you choose to dive in, book your tickets now, because this one's going to be big.

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