Too Early, Too Late (Zu fruh, zu spat/trop tot, trop tard)

Too Early, Too Late

The revolt begins again…

Too Early, Too Late is another one that was impossible to find without the help of our wiki (link on the right sidebar), and is also another one so rare and little known that it currently has no Wikipedia page. Films like this make me wonder how they managed to make it onto the list, not because they are poor, but because they are so niche and sparsely known that I’m surprised that the people who compiled the list managed to even know of its existence, let alone remember it and deem it worthy of a list of must see films.

I got a clear inkling of Deseret from this one, though this predates it by about 13 years. Where Deseret was all about Utah and its history, this focuses the lens on the concept of revolution, and uses the backdrops of contemporary France, as well as Egypt. There is a lot of scenery posited for the camera, accompanied by stoic narration of texts that only tenuously tie into the images seen on the screen, creating a very narrow juxtaposition. A lot of times, the camerawork consists of rotary panoramas of random locales, as well as still shots of, well, of even more random locales. Really, if you did manage to see Deseret, you won’t find too much difference with this one; though it obviously wasn’t the intention, the two films are so similar that comparison is inevitable.

The book classifies this as a “landscape film”, and I would agree, not just because it’s a correct assumption, but because there is really no other classification that this film belongs to. It’s pretty, in its own way, but there is very little substance to the film; it’s pretty much an encapsulation of an area of the world, like Deseret was, and serves no other purpose other than to show its scenery. Still, I can give the film its due in the areas it seeks to serve; it serves its purpose well, even if that purpose isn’t to put entertainment first.

Arbitrary Rating: 6/10

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4 thoughts on “Too Early, Too Late (Zu fruh, zu spat/trop tot, trop tard)

  1. I haven’t watrched this yet, but I did save it off in case I ever need it and it still isn’t available anywhere else.

    “Films like this make me wonder how they managed to make it onto the list, not because they are poor, but because they are so niche and sparsely known that I’m surprised that the people who compiled the list managed to even know of its existence, let alone remember it and deem it worthy of a list of must see films.”

    Call me a cynic, but I feel films like this are on the list PRECISELY because they are so hard to find, not because there is anything intrinsicly great or unique about them. It’s supposed to show people who read the book just how knowledgable the people who put it together are, but instead it just comes across as kind of lame to me.

    • I might be a bit more idealistic in that regard, in that I always consider what makes each film either great enough or unique enough that a panel of people would collectively agree that it is an experience one MUST see before they die. This film is certainly unique enough, but then one runs into the problem that it’s pretty much exactly the same film as Deseret, so why then did both make the list.

      • In all honesty, I’ve always assumed that the book was compiled from mostly independent critics’ recommendations, rather than as a collective group. I figured they got someone who was an expert on documentaries, someone on Asian films, someone on New Wave, someone on silents, etc. While there would be a general consensus for the most well known films in those genres, I figured that the remaining films that were not as well known were given a pass by the other critics in return for that critic giving their lesser known movies a pass, too. A more positive way of looking at it would be that each critic trusted the judgment of the others to pick movies in their own specialties. The result, though, is some areas of overlap, and a tendency towards coming across as “director groupies”.

        Do we really need six or more vampire movies, at least five of which are the same Dracula story? Do we really need what seems like half of Luis Bunuel’s entire output (or a dozen other directors that I could have picked)? And what’s with TV miniseries appearing on a list of best films? To me, all of these things point to a trend of individuals picking sets of films, rather than a group coming to a consensus on each and every one. And just from a practical standpoint, could an entire group of critics even agree with each other 1,000 times?

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