FRANCE / UNITED KINGDOM / USA – 2012 – 87 MIN – COLOUR - FEATURE - IN ENGLISH
A FILM BY LUCIEN CASTAING-TAYLOR & VÉRÉNA PARAVEL
LEVIATHAN is a feature-length film about men at sea and fish on boats. It offers an appreciation for the sensory experience, labor, and political and ecological stakes of one of the oldest endeavors that has been an important part of human history since the Paleolithic. Shot off the coast of the mythic city of Moby Dick, with eleven cameras swapping hands between the filmmakers and fishermen, in an effort to create a form of collective experimentation that gives free reign to the perspectives of both fishermen and their catch, the film seeks to capture the many ways in which human, animal, and machine; beauty and horror; and life and death all merge in uncanny ways in the world of contemporary commercial fishing.
"Entirely free of talking heads, narration, or conventional exposition, the film — shot on a trawler off the coast of Massachusetts — plunges the viewer instead into the sights and sounds of industrial fishing."
- THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT
"Castaing-Taylor and Paravel have created a dazzlingly innovative film by embedding their cameras inside a fishing trawler, allowing their cameras an unprecedented perspective, nestled in impossible nooks and crannies, almost burying themselves in the tackle, impedimenta, blood and flying detritus housed deep within the boat’s belly." (An Interview with Lucien Castaing-Taylor)
- CULT MONTREAL
An (audio) interview with filmmaker Lucien Castaing-Taylor
- CIBL 1015
"an incredible adventure, a sensory experience that approaches the pure cinema."
- REVUE 24 IMAGES — MOVIE OF THE WEEK!
4 Stars! "The full impact must be experienced first-hand; all aboard"
- MONTREAL GAZETTE
4 Stars! "images of unspeakable brutality"
- SEQUENCES LA REVUE DE CINEMA
"...(a) powerful work"
- MEDIAFILM — MOVIE OF THE WEEK!
"(a) visceral and immersive experience"
- PANORAMA-CINÉMA — MOVIE OF THE WEEK!
4 Stars! "a documentary not to be missed, which is likely to find in our year-end awards."
3.5 Stars! "LEVIATHAN proves audiovisual experience of a lyrical nightmare"
LEVIATHAN named one of the best indie movies of 2013
"Filmmakers will meet Montrealers tonight, explain their work, maybe even share some jokes!"
- MONTREAL GAZETTE
4.5 Stars! "the perfect medium for an excellent piece of art where the screen is the canvas and the sea and everything it swallows as the brushes and paints."
- CRITICIZE THIS!
"easily the scariest movie about fish since Jaws"
4 Stars! "Brilliant sea tale well worth its salt"
- THE GLOBE AND MAIL
"It’s an experience more than a movie, and quite an experience at that."
- THE TORONTO STAR
"Realism trumps drama in LEVIATHAN — Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel call their film LEVIATHAN “profoundly experiential.”
- THE TORONTO STAR (Interview with Lucien Castain-Taylor & Véréna Paravel)
"...reels you in with a strong hook"
- THE NATIONAL POST
10 out of 10! "Besides making the Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch look like Finding Nemo, LEVIATHAN also gradually reveals itself as serious political filmmaking underneath its heavy-metal surface. Its depiction of industry as a chugging monster jettisoning blood in its wake may be a nearly wordless one — the only dialogue in the movie is shouted and incidental — but it’s also chillingly eloquent."
- THE GRID
NNNNN! "...an immersive, almost assaultive piece of subjective cinema designed to literally plunge us into the deep, experiencing the catch of the day from inside the nets."
- NOW MAGAZINE
"It’s ironic that Lucien Castaing-Taylor is at the mercy of the elements when I first call him; caught in a Boston hailstorm, he needs a few minutes to find shelter. Once he’s indoors, however, we get to discuss his thrilling fishing documentary, LEVIATHAN, which he co-directed with Véréna Paravel – and which also features its share of inclement weather."
- NOW MAGAZINE (Interview with directors Lucien Castain-Taylor & Véréna Paravel)
"...first frame to last, it’s a full-on sensory assault"
- TORONTO STANDARD
"LEVIATHAN bombards the senses"
"...truly mesmerizing moments"
- DORK SHELF
4 out of 4! "On its most basic, visceral level, this isn't a documentary so much as a bumpy ride through a dark tunnel. Abandon all hope, ye who enter here."
- FILM FREAK CENTRAL
"The best documentary of 2012"
"The Merger of Academia and Art House"
- NEW YORK TIMES
"LEVIATHAN enshrines both the forces of the environment and the men and women who attempt to physically interrogate the component parts of such a god-like fury — appropriate for a work of such Biblical proportions and consequence"
- SLANT MAGAZINE
Video Interview / Review