SALT (Bradley Rust Gray, 2003)

Despite the biblical implication, the title of Salt refers to our abiding origins in the sea. En route from a small fishing village to Reykjavik, Iceland’s capitol city, to join her older sister, Svava, Hildur and Svava’s boyfriend, Aggi, are stranded in the middle of nowhere when their car breaks down. Hildur and Svava find it increasingly hard to resist the attraction between them; as a result, while Aggi is asleep Hildur leaves by bus for regions of the imagination, willing herself into becoming a gray seal. The seal with which, underwater, Hildur plays at the end of Salt: is it Svava or Aggi?
     This exceptionally lovely piece of work, by U.S. filmmaker Bradley Rust Gray, was shot on digital video and transferred to 35mm. Its handheld camera use asserts reality, but its destiny is another realm entirely, one innocent of betrayal or other moral consequences, and of guilt. The actors improvised much of their own dialogue. Gray works in partnership with his South Korean-born spouse, So Yong Kim, who produced Salt.
     With its slippery maneuvering out of the grip of modern angst, Salt is a reincarnation of L’avventura (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1960) for the twenty-first century. It is a younger version as well. Expressing hopefulness, it is a look ahead into the past of humanity, a magical fusion of disparate realms encapsulated in a wonderful long-shot—in the main, this is a work of closeups—in which a naked Hildur, the raised, immobile camera behind her, moves in the direction of the soothing sea, her once and future home.

B(U)Y THE BOOK

MY BOOK, A Short Chronology of World Cinema, IS CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FROM THE SANDS FILMS CINEMA CLUB IN LONDON. USING EITHER OF THE LINKS BELOW, ACCESS THE ADVERTISEMENT FOR THIS BOOK, FROM WHICH YOU CAN ORDER ONE OR MORE COPIES OF IT. THANKS.

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