There are no stars of this film. Why is that? Because there are no characters in it, only time lapsed works of modern art and stop motion effects. Gee, never seen that before.
Primarily a movie following around a wooden bust, “Populi” stands as a prototypical experimental art film. Visually explosive, well edited, and featuring an amazing soundtrack from Gustav Holst, this movie will grab your attention. It was, after all, made to play at the Seattle Seahawks new stadium. The time and energy it must have taken for David Russo and crew to set up, shoot, and compile their stop motion images is astounding. Surely, no short cuts could have led to this result.
However, “Populi” never conjures up anything of an intellectual nature. Just lots of images swirled together. Kind of like spin art. Sometimes they are beautiful images, but still just images with nothing behind them. Further, you never know when “Populi” is beginning and when it’s ending. Half way through the movie, the credits roll. Then we are treated to the second half of the movie. How unconventional. Worst, there is absolutely no plot. No plot, no point. So, basically, we have a movie that sounds and looks good, but is essentially meaningless. Or better, this movie is Shakespeare said it “…full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” (Macbeth; Act V, Scene 5)
But, I’m sure “Populi” would be great if I were stoned. Maybe then I could read in all finds of esoteric meanings. But come on, should you really have to pre-party to see a movie?
Pointless eye candy, but a sure success at any number of film festivals.