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IFDB Review: Cosmogony:


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This is my first review, and I'm taking it on because I've released an edit this month too. So full disclosure there, if after reading my review you decide to take it with that grain of salt, it's understandable, but the reason I'm mentioning it, is because I want to be clear that this is NOT from that perspective that the review comes from. Let me explain, because I watched the project expecting to love it, and to cede victory to the better project: I heard awhile ago that there was no hope to win FEOTM if someone released during the same month that Cosmogony was released. At first, I was upset by this news, because why should any person automatically win in a fair competition? But after thinking it through, I decided that if it really was that good, then it deserved to win, and If I watched it myself, I would feel happy to lose to something deserving of the title. I went into this with an open mind, hoping that what I heard was right, and that If I honestly enjoyed it as much as I'd been led to think, I was resolute that I would give it 10's all the way down the line. What followed instead, was the reality.Baraka 1992, Won an academy award for doing what TMBTM has done here, except when Ron Fricke did it, it was original and groundbreaking. I came in to this edit expecting a lot, because of the reviews, and because I heard several times that when "Cosmogony" is released, look out! While I thoroughly enjoyed Ron Fricke's experimental movie, Baraka, for it's amazing new direction in filmmaking and it's subtle way of connecting imagery with sound to tell the story of humankind, Cosmogony, on the other hand, fell short of expectations. The audio was really poor in quality and in choice, and the visuals, though beautiful, were unfocused and unconnected in a meaningful way.I have to ask myself why such high marks from the other reviewers? My guess is that it has to do with TMBTM having built up a lot of cache in the fanedit community from previous successes, and/or they've never heard of Baraka, so they're giving undue credit to Cosmogony as being groundbreaking. I hate writing this, because I wanted to watch Cosmogony and be blown away, and come on here singing it's praises.I'll go over my scoring line by line to give an explanation of each so that it's absolutely clear how I came to rate each category. The audio quality was the first thing that stood out- it was mixed really loud and it distorted during the entire introduction to the movie (and I'm NOT referring to the distortion on the electric guitar- sounds that should NOT have distortion were clipped). I hoped that this would change after the first song, but to my disappointment it continued, and not only the songs used, the sound effects and dialogue too- the sound consistently clipped during the movie! I ended up turning the volume down to 50% to try to ease the annoyance. It did. Sort of. At least the distorting sound was lower in volume. The music choices worked about 50 percent of the time, the other half I was literally shocked, because it was so inappropriate for the visuals that it rips you right out of the experience.The visual editing is by far the best part of the movie. Utilizing a hodge-podge of wonderful cinematography from some of the best visual movies out over the last 30 years. If I turned down my volume all the way, it would be utilized better as a moving wallpaper for my desktop. The Audio EDITING was ok, some of the problem was the distortion, and some of the choices in music did not work together with the visuals, which was jarring, but what I'm really talking about here was how the audio transitions were handled. Sometimes they were smooth, a lot of the time they seemed obviously glommed on, bursting into music or sfx at times when it was at best calling undue attention to itself, and at worse was altogether jarring.This isn't a narrative project, at least not in the traditional sense, it's an experimental movie, so narrative shouldn't be a consideration for a project like this. Although, there were short bits that were sequences lifted from other movies with a narrative framework, but they didn't have any sort of connective through-line to the rest of the movie, and they stood out as distracting and clashed with the experimental non-narrative parts. I would have preferred either the abstract visuals, or a story, but not sitting on the fence between both, it really left he project feeling meandering and overall unfocused as far as both style and content is concerned.My enjoyment score reflects the combination of the other scoring elements put together. It rates low because I've seen what a movie like this CAN be, and since there was so much build up and promise to the project, I came into it expecting a lot, but left genuinely disappointed.My regret is that Cosmogony wasn't as good as expectations, because I have to rate this as I honestly read it: I wanted it to be in the ten range, at least technically, but it just wasn't close. If you're in the mood to watch a great experimental project that really encapsulates "the story of us", I recommend watching "Baraka" instead.

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