By: Addison Wylie
It takes patience to mull thorough Mark Lewis’ Invention. However, even the calmest movie goers may find themselves jiggling their leg and looking at their watch.
Invention features visual artist Lewis and a wandering, hovering camera (driven by cinematographers Bobby Shore and Martin Testar) visiting Toronto, Paris, and Sao Paulo. His feature film debut asks audiences to find fascination in minor details. The camera floats, locks in on open, negative space and waits for the audience to “get it”. After a long pause, the camera looks elsewhere and repeats. The filmmaker spares us from pointing the camera up his own derriere, even though Invention figuratively does so.
Lewis is one of these artists who probably connected with Wes Bentley’s loner from American Beauty. An example that chases that “hidden beauty/art in mysterious forms” viewpoint are the uncut scenes featuring shadows casting an alternate life across the pavement. I can understand Lewis wanting to show hidden beauty in everyday life from an alternative perspective. Some of the cinematography will make you wonder how Lewis captured such a shot. Nonetheless, an eighty-five minute movie is simply too much fluttery exposure to take in at one time. This kind of content belongs in an art installation being projected on the side of a building.
Another thought: Invention should be screened in Omnimax, a spherical cinema that draws huge appeal for its blown-up presentation. In that theatre, audiences might find themselves more observant to Lewis’ flighty anthology. Unfortunately, there are no plans for that sort of distribution. In a conventional cinema, Invention’s flaws are much more obvious, and the film comes across as an endless experiment that’s completely full of itself.
Invention screens at TIFF on:
Sunday, September 13 at 9:15 p.m. @ TIFF Bell Lightbox
Language: No Dialogue
Runtime: 87 minutes
For more information on the festival, visit the official TIFF webpage here.
Buy tickets here.
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