Intriguing anti-western by first time director Scott Blake. A story of a government surveyor circa 1848 on a trek home after surveying land on the Western frontier. It's a highly accomplished period piece with meticulous attention to detail re: costumes, props, location. A rare formalist feat by a young filmmaker who appears to have no interest in the rickety realism he has every right making at his age, 26. Surveyor may require a little patience - it begins minimally and is long for a short at 25 minutes - but it's far from stagnant, and includes a notable last minute pivot into hallucinatory darkness. What begins as a rigorous exercise unfolds like a gothic nightmare - you can't quite make sense of it all, but it feels real. Impressive and mysterious debut film.
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