The Man From Earth (2007)

Last night, I watched a Richard Schenkman film called The Man From Earth, recommended by the Karlsson clan as an excellent film that happens in one room. The premise of the film is really interesting; a 14 000 year old man reveals his lifespan to a group of friends, who happen to be experts in anthropology, archeology, biblical literature, biology, psychology… I enjoyed the portrayal of reactions of the individuals – kudos for the actors – as well as the idea of the film. It takes a really, really good story to make a film like this to work. This one did. The dialogue held my attention right off the bat (despite the overacting on part of John Billingsley), and as a geek of all kinds, the story captured my imagination.

At the end of the film, I was left wanting more. I think that was the idea, but at the same time, it made me wonder if the film was lacking in something? The one revelation, which I’ll not spoil, might be enough of a shock to some people to carry the whole story. I’ve done enough comparative studies (which is just a fancy way of saying I like reading stuff) to have noticed the similarities in certain things, so I wasn’t blown off my feet. I wanted … more. A man who has lived for 14 000 years; surely he would have more insight than just ‘they keep making the same mistakes over and over again’? It’s possible, also, that it’s just the geek in me talking.

Overall: great film from a psychological, social, historical, cinematographical point of view. I’ve always said I like films that make me think; this one fired up my imagination, if nothing else. Duly recommended.


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