Violet Screen 4 articles

Violet

2014

Violet Poster
  • Devos's impressive debut bores into the mourning process and its piquant combination of emotional numbness and sensory vulnerability, rigorously avoiding finding an easy way out of this quagmire. Instead, Violet culminates in an astonishing eight-minute tracking shot: Like the film's young biker, it glides quietly through a Flanders neighborhood before arriving at a phenomenon that levels perspective and leaves you feeling hopelessly, overwhelmingly adrift.

  • The debut feature of Flemish director Bas Devos, Violet is deft and rigorous, oblique to the point of inscrutability. (Shot in part on 65mm, it's also exceptionally beautiful.) But what's apparent throughout is that Devos sees the world in a way quite his own. He shoots BMX bikers like ballet dancers, and a heavy-metal concert like a kinesthetic trance. I don't know if Violet is a great film. But I am sure that there's nothing like it.

  • At times the non-narrative scenes are abstract, colorful blurs, like images you get from rubbing your eyes, or montages of held medium shots, or successive stills of banal people or objects signaling Jesse’s heightened stoner perception... Is the trajectory of the movie Jesse’s return to some subjective _normalcy_? I don’t want to give anything away, but Devos and amazing DP Nicolas Karakatsanis, shooting on 65mm and the digital ALEXA, poke holes in such a simple scenario.

  • Devos stresses the primacy of sensory experience – the rich colours and the sensuous textures of Nicolas Karakatsanis’s cinematography, matched with small but decisive gestures, amplify the scant dialogue in a story that painfully demonstrates how we might become estranged from our own lives. Devos conveys poignantly the pains of affirming one’s identity at a young age, after a shock that disrupts the very sense of one’s personhood.