the Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey. 1988
Directed by Vincent Ward. Cinematography by Geoffrey Simpson
Starring: Bruce Lyons, Chris Haywood
A Visionary Child Leads Five Men On A Quest To A 20th Century City
This movie appeared out of nowhere for me. I have met less than ten people who have heard of it and less than five that watched it. I know nothing about it’s making. I endeavor to keep it secret as I find this film to be a precious jewel.
Several characters live during the wintery plague in black and white. The child has a vision that if they erect a crucifix on a spire the plague will be cured. They tunnel into the color modern world and have a strange adventure. Where lies the truth? What is real? Is this happening? Why is this happening?
Each character is elevated from being 2 dimensional. Each has a story that effects the journey. The journey itself feels like it will be a failure. Character motivations change the direction of the film in significant ways. The film itself is curious and artfully crafted. It feels different. It feels unique.
It avoids the phony dirty trope. The world feels real. none of the characters are heroic. There are some clever moments. It is an intelligent film, but fairly accessible.
Overall, this checks a bunch of boxes for me. It’s little known, no big actors, well crafted, interesting, and is black and white (for half the film). The design is gritty and used. People are morally gray and flawed.
I highly recommend finding it and watching it. It’s free on Amazon occasionally. I’m giving little of it away as the movie is tight. You will either like it or find it dumb. Let me know what you think if you see it or have seen it.
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