Monday, January 25, 2010

Lightning Strikes


Act of God (Zeitgeist), Jennifer Baichwal’s documentary about the lingering effects on the lives of those struck by lightning, is suitably bizarre but insufficiently illuminating (so to speak). Baichwal interviews people like author Paul Auster and playwright James O’Reilly about their experiences, intercutting shots of the awe-inspiring grandeur of nature’s beauty and terror. Only 75 minutes long, Act of God seems incomplete, yet there are beautifully mystifying moments. The plentiful extras include an interview with Baichwal, additional scenes highlighted by Auster reading from his own short stories, a featurette about director Peter Greenaway, whose own nutty cinematic theories serve as a backdrop for his own 1980 short film—also called Act of God— which is a small masterpiece and worth the price of the DVD by itself. Thanks, Zeitgeist!

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