Rarely have I met a movie with this much praise. Wikipedia: “Wavelength is often listed as one of the greatest underground, art house and Canadian films ever made”. The Book: “… a vital, important and necessary work”. Both continue to reference a lot of praise from elsewhere.
I can only think, wow, this is going to be interesting.
When I was a child television would only be available certain hours each day. Outside that time there would only be a test signal. This would be a static image with a lot of colors, a digital watch and a constant (and hideous) narrowband tone. You could not look and listen to that for long, but it was used to ensure the fine tuning of the pick up of the channel (a manual affair back then). This is also a fairly precise description of “Wavelength”, except this goes on for 45 minutes, longer than I have ever endured the test signal.
The camera spends 43 minutes looking into a room slowly zooming in on a picture on the opposite wall, while a narrowband tone gradually increases in frequency from 50 Hz to 12 KHz.
Yeah, that is about it.
Apparently, a murder takes place in the room, but I never noticed.
Ah, I almost forgot, in the beginning, before the tone starts, we get a highly distorted version of Strawberry Fields.
Now I am supposed to explain why this is a super important movie and a vital and necessary watch, but I am stunned for words. I simply have no idea. Yet, having an empty shell it is very easy to fill meaning into it. As we do not understand we can try to give it meaning and make this scene full of nothing express something profound. Beside the utter boredom watching this movie I was thinking of being sucked into a black hole, that gradually the world gets smaller and smaller, eventually becoming a singularity. Why not?
But then I could also get some meaning out of the television test signal.
“Wavelength” I would only recommend to those who love obscure art and masochists. There is a reason we try to avoid narrowband tones in machinery.