The Velvet Queen
Features: Vincent Munier, Sylvain Tesson
Stunning photography, unsurprisingly, is the best reason to see this, at times, overly verbose nature documentary, a massive hit in France, from wildlife filmmaker Marie Amiguet and wildlife photographer Vincent Munier.
On a frozen Tibetan plateau, Munier guides his companion, adventurer and writer Slvain Tesson in a quest to spot the endangered and elusive snow leopard. During their quest, the two discuss, in reverentially hushed voices, the virtues of patience and receptiveness to the outside world, ‘away from the noise all the common people make’ Munier observes (hark at him!). Nick Cave and Warren Ellis provide a typically elegiac-sounding and haunting soundtrack.
The dialogue sometimes errs into the pretentious and florid - ‘Prehistory wept and every tear was a yak’ apparently – but the pristine blue and grey-hued renderings of the landscape are chillily beautiful, as are shots of the silhouettes of mysterious beasts against a cloudless sky. The climactic encounter is genuinely awe-inspiring.
The Velvet Queen is out now
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