Sweetgrass Poster

GreenCine Daily

“This is almost certainly the least sentimental American movie about Nature since Gerry… It’s not that nature’s red in tooth and claw; it just doesn’t care if you admire it. It’s also shockingly unsentimental about sheep: not the fuzzy, adorable baa-lambs of nursery rhymes, but dumb, obstinate creatures who can be a real pain. Part masculine comedy of swearing, part formalist experiment in which not a real word is spoken for the first half-hour, it’s anything but cloistered. I was certain I was in good hands during an early sheep-shearing sequence: the camera roams in restless panning arcs—side to side, top to bottom—as sheep are separated from their wool with industrial speed and thoroughness. The noise is metal-factory intense… and I was rocking out. The footage veers between the abstractly compelling, the naturally stunning and the occasionally surreal: you may never forget the sight of a hundreds-strong herd marching past the Radio Shack on a small town street. The shepherds are a pragmatic, profane lot: an eloquently despairing, absolutely unquotable stream of invective against recalcitrant sheep in the mountains becomes even more comic as the camera zooms back to dwarf everyone, back to make a wry joke about the gap between the ostensible majesty of nature and the sheer pain of navigating it. Genre-wise, there’s really nothing like it in American film.”

GreenCine Daily
September 27, 2009

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