Watch The Suspended Step of the Stork
- 2 hr 23 min
The Suspended Step of the Stork is a 1991 drama film directed by Greek auteur Theo Angelopoulos. This movie is one of Angelopoulos' most celebrated works and stars renowned Italian actor Marcello Mastroianni as the lead character, Alexander. The film is set in a small town near the Turkish border, just as the news breaks that a famous television journalist, known only as the man with the raised hand, has gone missing in the area. Alexander, an aging celebrity journalist, is sent to the town to investigate the case of the missing man. As he travels through the impoverished town with his dedicated assistant, Gregory, he interacts with a variety of people.
Jeanne Moreau plays the part of an aging actress, who crossed enemy lines during World War II, abandoning her country's cause. Jiri Menzel, the acclaimed Czech director, plays a man who is obsessed with birds and applies for a job in the local airport as a crane operator. There is also a group of refugees from various war-torn countries seeking asylum in Greece, among them a Palestinian, an African, and an Afghan.
As Alexander progresses deeper into the investigation, the narrative begins to unravel, and it becomes clear that the central plot of the film is not about the missing journalist. Instead, it is a compelling tale of humanity, hope, and loss, as each character struggles to find a place in the world and make sense of the things that happened to them.
The movie's themes touch on many relevant topics â the complexity of human relationships, the impact of war on people's lives, the fear of the unknown, the disillusionment of youth, the challenges of the modern world, and the power of storytelling. Angelopoulos explores these themes through his signature, slow-paced, and visually stunning shots that offer immersive storytelling, making the audience feel as though they too are a part of the story.
The stunning cinematography of the movie is worth mentioning. The film's lens, handled by Giorgio Arvanitis, captures the remote and forlorn beauty of the town and its surrounding landscape. The framing captures the characters as they move through the stark winter setting, with the Turkish mountains in the background, underscoring the feeling of loneliness and hopelessness.
The movie's soundtrack, composed by Eleni Karaindrou, is also exceptional. The haunting and emotive score provides a feeling of sadness and nostalgia that complements the magnitude of the themes that the film tackles.
Marcello Mastroianni plays the lead character, Alexander, with grace and poise. Gregory Patrick Karr, who plays Alexander's assistant, also provides an outstanding performance. Although a relatively unknown actor, he expertly portrays the struggles and frailty of being human.
Jeanne Moreau, in a small but crucial role, delivers a performance that showcases her talent and skill. Although her role is minimal, her emotional intensity brings the character to life and leaves a long-lasting impact on the viewer.
The Suspended Step of the Stork is an outstanding achievement of cinema, shot with exceptional skill and beauty, and portrayed by a committed cast. The film is a profound statement on humanity's complexity and the way our past informs our present. It is a movie that moves with a slow yet deliberate pace, capturing each character's stories with precise and thoughtful shots.
The story's significance is so relevant that even to this day, it remains relevant to global issues. There is no denying that this is a film that needs to be seen by all those who love cinema and who wish to be reminded of the transcendent power of human empathy.