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This Weekend’s Must-See: “Ten Canoes”

This Weekend's Must-See: "Ten Canoes"

Okay, I know you’re all going to see “Knocked Up” this weekend, but let me heartily recommend Rolf de Heer’s “Ten Canoes,” a far more original and visually stunning cinematic experience that is probably just as funny. It’s a shame in today’s increasingly competitive theatrical marketplace that a lush, inventive picture such as “Ten Canoes” is relegated to a mere footnote (or a “Tracking Shot,” as the Voice dubs their lesser-profile mini-reviews) in our film culture pages.

At Cannes last year, the film was one of my favorites — “one of the festival’s simple delights,” I wrote. “Told in voiceover by a joking storyteller (‘Walkabout’s’ David Gulpilil), the film leisurely chronicles a story of his ancestors, involving a young man who covets one of his father’s wives. In between, there are dazzling images of Australian swamplands, a healthy dose of laughter and a little bit of death. As Gulpilil’s narrator declares, evoking a sentiment that could apply to many of Cannes’s distinctive and alluring pleasures, ‘It’s a good story – not like your story – but a good story all the same.'”

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