Staff Pick: Experimental doc “Leviathan” is a must-see on the big screen

From the March 21, 2013 edition

This weekend brings Columbus’ first chance to see a buzzed-about experimental documentary on a big screen. And believe me, you want to see this on a big screen.

Filmed with a variety of cameras on commercial fishing vessels in the North Atlantic, “Leviathan” is being described as a documentary like no other — and with good reason.

Cameras were placed throughout the ships, held by the filmmakers, even strapped to helmets on the fishermen. The footage is cut together in shots that linger for days, lulling viewers into the tireless rhythms of the ocean and of manual labor. (Watching fish being gutted on repeat might turn some of you off to seafood for a while.)

“Leviathan” is almost purely a sensory experience. There’s no attempt at narrative. The sound design is an impressively hypnotic mix of natural sound, twisted and manipulated to surrealism.

I imagine audiences will be bored or enthralled without much middle ground, but this is one that calls for sensory deprivation, not home video. Set a course for the Wex this weekend.