The Clouds of Sils Maria, I can say, was a different experience. It was very obvious, for me, why it is considered an art film. The beautiful sceneries that were shown in the film, as well as production elements, such as the set design, lights, camera angles, shots, etc., all worked together to form an eyegasmic masterpiece.
Just by looking at the pictures…seriously, wow!?!!!
For someone who loves traveling and seeing nature, like myself, The Clouds of Sils Maria can never go wrong. I really felt as if the film brought me to Europe, where the characters were, but my aching back from slouching while watching the film reminded me that sadly, I was still in the Case Study Room of the Social Sciences building. So, I made a promise to myself that if ever I get the chance to visit any of the 3 countries that they shot in, Germany, Switzerland, or Italy, I would surely visit the sights that I saw, most especially the “snake”. But unlike Val, I hope to not mysteriously disappear.
In a way, the film reminded me of Michelangelo Antonioni’s L’Avventura (1960). Despite the lack of closure and explanation for the characters’ disappearance, I still enjoyed the film in its entirety. The landscape and nature shown were very appropriate for the film. I liked how there was an extreme manipulation with the clouds, that despite the big drama caused by Val’s mysterious disappearance, I somehow found myself at peace while watching the clouds pass through the mountains.
The film touches up on a lot of interesting topics. I really liked that the film had a meta 3-part style that shows the changes in age and maturity of the characters in each part. As someone who wants to be in the show business and coincidentally afraid of getting old, I can say that the film scared me a little bit. From being the star in people’s eyes, who everybody adores, to not being the star and just staying in the background, Maria Enders’ life reflects the painful truth in the industry. Celebrities come and go, and they become has-beens. One day, people like you and the next day, they don’t. But, you have to accept that.
However, I enjoyed the constant exchange of lines between Maria and Val while rehearsing for Maloja’s Snake. It was fun to watch especially because it reminded me of how my sister and I practice her lines for her movies. Although, the tension between Maria and Val while rehearsing for Maria’s lines became confusing, for me. Maybe it was because of the hints of lesbianism within both sets of characters: Maria-Val and Helena-Sigrid. Just like in Holy Motors (2012), there were times when the distinction between acting and real life became unclear. Somehow, Maloja’s Snake came to life and reflected the reality of Maria and Val.
I can understand why this film received so many awards. The awards, the story, and the underlying messages of the film prove that Clouds of Sils Maria is worth the watch. And that indeed, Clouds of Sils Maria is a masterpiece.