Salient. Victoria University of Wellington Students' Newspaper. Volume 31, Number 18. July 30, 1968
'Luke' brutality unmeaningful, a mystery . .
'Luke' brutality unmeaningful, a mystery . . .
Sir—the in Salient by M. J. Heath was perceptive but made an unwaranted value Judgement in marking 'Luke' up as "the finest film of the year, so far".This is nonsense! I will say however that it is one film this year that has made me surprisingly exasperated. The film is extermely evocative: the brutality portrayed is unmeaningful and thus a mystery; Luke is un-communicable and thus very much an 'otherness'. but it all fails to convince and relate to the viewer or a total situation. The questions of "Why" are never really put, and certainly they aren't answered. Now I'm not asking a film producer to give the answers to these sort of questions, I'll turn to the philosopher and theologian for that, perhaps, but. the artistic integrity of the film is mared by the failure of the 'gaps' to make that shocking, convicted individual impression that silence and action in such a personal media can achieve.
Two or three possible view points for such a film. Firstly, the elaborate searching for symbols and a pattern, possibly of a iconographic variety. The gaps frustrate this although the impression of that possibility remains on one's consciounsness. Second, the existential act of will in a meaningless situation. Certainly an attractive view, and still quite fashionable, but the questions are still not put and the gaps still frustrate. Finally we can have the old hack and not very popular view in a socially hidebound society of 'art for art's sake". It doesn't work, art can be more attractive without having our sensibilities hurt by a nightmare.
Perhaps all that can be said is that the film is really very fine because it's so very evocative of our own personal response to society and also it is like those nightmares and phantasies into which we sometimes fall and from which we can (happily) escape into reality. Yet that fault remains, the great possibilities of such a method were not realised. A pity.