Film Pulse Score

Release Date: July 8, 2016 (Fandor)
MPAA Rating: NR
Run Time: 65 minutes

Attempting to describe Frank Mosley’s Her Wilderness is an (somewhat) arduous task, an uncategorizable film with a whisper of a narrative involving three women occupying different stages of their lives, undetermined in their particular paths moving forward, seemingly settling into an acquiescence of fate.

Minimalist may be the sturdiest of descriptors for Mosley’s sophomore effort with dialogue sparse and connectivity between actions remaining faint and ill-defined. All possibilities of potential meanings/readings hold an embedded residence with the viewer, which is true of most films, but even more so with Mosley’s since he leaves everything open to interpretation. All character motivations and development (even the interconnectivity of the characters themselves) are represented as merely vapors, dispersed over the course of the film.

Even the proceedings of Her Wilderness are housed in an ambiguity-laden landscape, indiscernible between reality and fantasy with the storylines of the three women grounded in reality, while interspersed amongst these segments is a more fantasy-leaning account of a young girl wandering through the woods. Either through inadequacy or intention, the film’s sound mixing even plays into the indeterminate world as the actor’s dialogue sounds distant and removed, as if the characters are in a trance.

Her Wilderness2
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This trance-like quality actually extends itself throughout the entire production, permeating forth from all aspects, from Clint Niosi’s score – oscillating between foreboding and calming – entwined within the soundscapes of nature, to cinematographer Ron Gonzalez’s measured and unhurried surveillance of the spaces in a series of graceful camera movements executed with careful thought. Almost inviting the viewer to succumb to slumber, lulling them into their own dreamworlds wherein they transport the components of Her Wilderness in order to manufacture an artistic work distinctively their own.

Her Wilderness does contain one narrative through-line, slightly solidified yet remaining foggy in terms of actuality and/or circumstances, reoccurring and reverberating throughout; an affair, unidentifiable in terms of the conditions it was born from, possibly residing as a fabricated figment in the unstable mind of a woman desperately yearning for its existence, conjuring its being through feigned experiences offset by her desired counterpart’s denial and rejection existing in reluctant speech of hushed tones. Similarly, the chronological presentation of the specificities of these speculative events could be construed as jumbled about a timeline or a straight-shot unfolding.

Or, then again, this affair could stand as a simple fact. It becomes increasingly difficult to tell in Mosley’s cinematic world, evident in his continual rejection of the notion of meeting the viewer halfway, disseminating its insights and vision through scattered murmurs casually sprinkled throughout a meditative mood piece.

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