Nature, directed by Nature- film review


I saw the film was English, so I thought this must be good. The main character was a slovenly young man– probably unemployed by the look of him– dressed in football shorts and an old t-shirt. It started with him leaving his house to go for a jog. The choice to use POV allowed for a unique first-hand viewing experience. The morning sky was clear, no clouds, only a quarter of the moon left over from the night before, translucent like a hologram. 

It was a procession of wings. Above the road, the unmistakable red, white and black flashes of a great spotted woodpecker directly overhead. Fat wood pigeons made solitary journeys over the fields and crows, lots of crows. 

His curiosity was sparked as he noticed a cluster of bodies by the side of the road. These were the white fruiting bodies of common puffballs, golf balls stuck to the ground. He stopped, picked one out, and twisted it in half, revealing a yellow spongy interior. He squeezed half, producing little explosions of spores, mustard clouds that were quickly lost to the sharp September wind. 

Angry souls trapped in vans. The man jogged on the right side of the road towards oncoming cars. Most kept a wide berth, and kept themselves to themselves. The problems were the vans with men inside them. At first the jogger thought they were his friends, wanting to greet him, wish him good will for the day. He was naive. They were offering rude gestures and shouting at him to get out of their way. One of them would have wing-mirrored him if he didn’t have the sense to shift onto the clumpy road-side grass. 

Frogs lay dead on the road, some of them were being smothered by fat orange slugs. I thought they were herbivores? To the right the man noticed a carpet laid over a drain. It turned out to be a flattened badger corpse, well into the latter stages of decomposition. A perfect banquet for white maggots. This created an image not likely to erase itself from the memory. 

As the man moved up a steep hill and onto a bumpy road, he reacted to something landing on his head. He was out in the open, so it could only have been the excrement of some sky beast. He left it undisturbed, and felt the liquid seeping through to his scalp. His pace quickened.

The film ended with the man changing his style from jog to a skipping-like motion and singing merry songs, showing defiance and willingness to coexist in the mysterious world of the director. 

I researched the director, Nature, it was. She had started off the film depicting a beautiful, Edenic world, and as the film progressed, more and more dark devices were used. Later we were shown the secret, strange machinations of the world, which are darker than we often care to think about. No real characters were present, no speech, just a simple journey, more like an exhibition of life and death. 

I never learned the title, so for the purposes of the article I’ve called it Nature. Sadly I couldn’t find it on IMDB. 

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