Atlantis | Chicago Reader

Atlantis

Seventy-odd minutes of lush, deep-sea 'Scope cinematography by French filmmaker Luc Besson (La femme Nikita), shot all over the world (1991). Though preceded by some brief, ponderous narration in English and parceled out with some dubious thematic titles that often seem either anthropomorphic (“tenderness,” “love,” “hate”) or arbitrary (“mind,” “rhythm,” “spirit”), the eye-filling visuals of diverse sea creatures are mainly allowed to speak for themselves. (Happily, the creatures and locations aren't identified until the closing credits.) At its best this contemplative documentary recalls some of the drifting outer-space segments of 2001: A Space Odyssey, though without Kubrick's exquisite sense of structure; at its worst it's a New Age variant on Fantasia with an undistinguished score by Eric Serra. (At one point sea snakes are seen copulating to a disco beat.)

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