100 words or less – The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey (1988)

Title –   The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey

Released – 1988

Director – Vincent Ward

Starring – Bruce Lyons, Hamish McFarlane, Marshall Napier

Review – The Navigator, Ward’s second film after the equally-disquieting Vigil, is a surreal science-fiction film imbued with the nuclear politics of 1980’s New Zealand. It follows six Cumbrian villagers from the 1300s who miraculously dig their way to the 1980s on a course to prevent the plague consuming their village. It’s as insane as it sounds and features Ward’s typical dream-like, painterly imagery and fascination with the power of landscapes. The accents are muddy but the performances are great. McFarlane as Griffin, the child with oracular abilities, is a highlight. The nihilistic ending won’t be for everyone, but Ward’s striking imagery will defiantly linger.

Reviewed by Tom


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