You Are Here – 2011. [2 stars]

From the opening moments of an elderly man in front of  a rear projection of crashing waves, ‘You Are Here’ draws you into a philosophical discussion about your own existence.
This isn’t a drama, it isn’t a comedy, but rather a present day concept map , delivered with hand held cameras, criss crossing stories that border on the co-incidential to the unlikely.

Directed by Daniel Cockburn, the film was shot on multiple formats : 35mm, Digital, Super 8, Beta – with each format woven very smartly into the specific storyline.
To attempt to fully decipher what ‘You Are Here’ is trying to say, is to take away from the experience of seeing the film.
Questions are posed through the eyes of an archivist, a doctor, young children at the beach:  ‘Are our lives predetermined?’ , ‘What if we choose a path that wasn’t meant for us?’.  
Each story seem, on the surface, unrelated, but which build neatly to a final intersection of coincidences 
This film can be tough going – you have to take considerable effort and time to think deep about what Cockburn is placing on screen.  
 
Many viewers will find his philosophical views confusing and struggle within the time frame to absorb his concepts.
I sense that to feel ‘lost’ during the film is actually part of the experience Cockburn wants us to have.   We don’t understand everything in life, much like we don’t understand everything in ‘You Are Here’ , but we do find ourself awaken occasionally by small moments in our lives that make us question our existence.
To help the viewer out, Cockburn spells out midway through, that several scenes are a visual interpretation of the human brain.   And with that understanding, ‘You Are Here’ becomes a more accessible film.  It is tough going at stages, but contains some splendid ideas.
‘You Are Here’
Director:  Daniel Cockburn
Country: Canada
Running Time: 78 mins

Score:  2 stars.

You-are-here

 

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