If the quote below the poster up there confuses you, boy are you in for a rude awakening of a film. Ever since reviews for the 10th edition’s new entries started popping up, there’s been a dark cloud hanging over us 1001 Questers; a film so universally despised it threatened to shake up the “Worst on the List” list for years to come, if not forever. To say that Limite has had a murky reception is to make the astounding claim that the Pacific Ocean qualifies as “damp”. Rather than get it out of the way sooner than later, I opted (for whatever reason) to let the fates decide when I’d see it through my random number generator. Well, it came up today. So, how was it for me personally? Amusingly enough, I didn’t hate it for several reasons, but ended up disliking it for one big major one.
Rather than give you a plot summary, since there basically is no plot (although some may argue against this claim), I’ll instead detail my beginning experiences with the film pretty much as they happened. I got myself a bowl of ice cream, and a liter of water to occupy myself the rest of the way, and started the film, settling in for the long haul. The film’s odd, languid imagery began… and it wasn’t as bad as I was expecting. Actually, the images themselves were very striking, and even impressive at times, especially for a film at the end of the silent era. Then the rowboat came in, and we got a small sense of the characters floating around in it, which wasn’t much, but then again, I wasn’t expecting much. And then, I got a weird sense about myself: I didn’t hate this. I didn’t think it was a masterpiece, but I didn’t think it was the worst thing since and including Vinyl… And then I looked at the clock, and saw that only ten minutes had passed. And that’s when I knew I was in trouble. What did I like about Limite? The beauty of it. Even among those who hate the film with a passion, unless they simply let their emotions towards the film get the better of them, it would be hard for even they to argue against the fact that damn near every shot in this film has a quiet, ethereal poetry to it; the film tries its hardest to be dream-like, and shot-to-shot, it succeeds. But that’s the thing; it only works shot-to-shot, as in when one looks at each shot of the film on its own. With everything linked together in one long, massive, two-hour opus, it becomes an absolute slog to get through, and that was my main issue with Limite; it was TWO HOURS of this opaque-yet-eerily-beautiful material. The dream-like poetry works in small doses, but this is like being injected with a “dream-like poetry” enema; at some point, you just want it to stop.
You know what Limite is like? Remember the creepy stalker-ish young guy from American Beauty, and the film he shot of nothing but a plastic bag blowing around in the wind? Limite is like that, and I’d be willing to bet money that this film is that kid’s favorite film of all time. Here’s the thing though; I’d have rather had that home movie the kid shot be on the list than this. It achieves the same thing Limite does, and does so in a not-two-hour-long running time, which makes it that much better in my eyes than Mario Peixoto’s walrus of a feature. Others have gone as far as throwing swear words at the film and cursing the editors of the list for putting this on there over other better potential entries. I wouldn’t go that far, but I will say this: what others may say at and about this film, I will not begrudge. This may very well end up at the bottom of the heap of the new entries in the 10th edition. But, it was consistently pretty, so I didn’t hate it nearly as much as I probably should’ve.
Arbitrary Rating: 4/10