Reviewed at Palm Springs Film Festival, Jan. 14, 2000. Running time: 74 MIN.
A retrospective of the last century presented through images of individuals who lived during that time, the intriguing “Here We Are Waiting for You” owes more to experimental films like “Koyaanisqatsi” than to traditional nonfiction pics. While Marcelo Masagao’s painstaking research is evident, his tendency to mingle fact and fiction makes this more a meditative blend of poetry and history than pure docu. Further festival attention is likely.
Using a title taken from the gates of a Sao Paulo cemetery, pic searches through a larger graveyard, both real and imagined. Images of celebrated individuals like Yuri Gagarin and Nijinsky are juxtaposed with those of anonymous men whose stories Masagao simply invents (in captions). Result is notable more for its breadth than for depth of insight. Much of the footage is fascinating; grainy film of a Frenchman’s ill-fated 1911 attempt to fly off the Eiffel Tower (with handmade wings) dissolves into a shot of the Challenger explosion, underscored by the caption “We shall never master nature completely.” Sans narration, Wim Mertens’ eerie music often enhances the footage and stills, culled from archives in North and South America, Europe and Russia.