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Brian Eno: Imaginary Landscapes

Imaginary Landscapes (1989) - 7,5

Rare documentary about Brian Eno, prominent figure in the history of electronic ambient music. Eno was one of the greatest pioneers of the genre during the 70s; his work was crucial to bring the forefront soundscapes to the ears of the general public. Today he is a multifaceted artist working in several fields of multimedia and audiovisual expression. In this 1989 documentary, Eno dissertates about his work and his vision of the world; about what inspires and disturbs him. His words are interesting and, sometimes, even fascinating to hear. And his beautiful musical creations illustrate the points of his abstract speech - from this dynamic emerges the real experience of the film. In my opinion, Imaginary Landscapes could be restricted only to the audio because the main focus is not what is seen but what is heard. It's in the dynamics between Eno's words and his sonic landscapes that lies the essence of this documentary. For lack of a better word, Imaginary Landscapes seems to be a remotely successful attempt to illustrate the interior and creative world of Brian Eno.

The picture is a secondary factor dangling between casual formality and decorative artifice. My general impression of audiovisual works whose focus lie in the sound, is that the image does not seem to support the 'action' as well as the sound does the vice versa. Therefore, the image is disposable, especially when it contributes little to no substance to enrich the work. Instead, we ought to close our eyes and let the soundscapes fill in our visual imaginations for a more pleasurable and eloquent experience. This isn't necessarily the absolute case with this documentary. That shall be decided by each one's subjective judgement; for me, the image has scarce redeeming qualities to justify its presence. It's an interesting aesthetic exploration that may please many other viewers, nonetheless. Quite honestly, this 'stoned' style of documentary has been very much in vogue, and it quickly leaves me jaded if not perfectly executed. Imaginary Landscapes was directed by Duncan Ward and Gabriella Cardazzo. Ambient music lovers will find in this film a beautiful and eloquent soundscape that can be appreciated with closed eyes to almost full extent. Recommended!