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Presented by Visit Knoxville and Regal

A Perfect Day for Caribou

Jeff Rutherford · 2022 · 95 minutes
May 15 · Regal Riviera · 7:00 p.m.
[The] landscapes Rutherford and his cinematographer Alfonso Herrera Salcedo photograph in images are expansive despite the boxy 4:3 frame. The low contrast black-and-white and the barrenness of the terrain create a purgatorial atmosphere; as we watch the estranged father and son trudge across sweeping plains, over rolling hills and canyons, into the depth of a forest, and back again to that godforsaken cemetery, their two figures appear like lost souls roaming an earthly limbo.

Rutherford’s debut belongs to a lineage of US independent cinema that includes such milestones as Monte Hellman’s The Shooting (1966) and Gus Van Sant’s Gerry (2002), as well as foreign implants like Bruno Dumont’s Twentynine Palms (2003). Though aesthetically and philosophically disparate, these films all pit humans against the vast American landscape as a means of existential meditation. A Perfect Day for Caribou is a rare hopeful example, contemplating the eternal recurrence of the sins of the father in order to probe the possibility of breaking the chain.

Giovanni Marchini Camia, Film Writer & Locarno Programmer
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