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Sunday, 2 January 2011

House of Leaves - The Navidson Record - Part I

Onto our second part, the main event that has been set up by a suitably eerie introduction, also known as The Navidson Record.
So we start with our narrator (who I will assume has switched from Johnny Truant to Zampano) discussing the authenticity of this Navidson Record and the wide opinion of critics that the film is a hoax. We end this discussion with a quote from Navidson, warning the viewer to treat the film as reality and:
  • "...if one day you find yourself passing by that house don't stop, don't slow down, just keep going. There's nothing there. Beware."
This followed by a hint as to the end of the film. I'm intrigued.
I am then told about the original version of the Navidson Record, a five and a half minute film where Navidson films the opening of an unusual door that leads on to a 10' long corridor that doesn't fit the measurements of the house outside; where there should be a 10' protuberance, there's only garden. Of course, no-one goes in it and the film is considered something of a curiosity by the public. Pity.
Later, a second short film comes out, this one distinguished by hurried, choppy edits and not making a whole lot of sense really. Kind of like Cloverfield I suppose, but less nauseating to watch and where you don't heartily wish for all the protagonists to be killed in ever more creative ways.
After that there's very little about Navidson and the house that comes out, so interest eventually dies except in the circles of hard-core fans and scholars (like any films that aren't hollywood blockbusters or retroactive cult classics then). Then the full Navidson Record is released, to international acclaim, with as much emphasis put on the non-appearance of its creator, Will Navidson, as on the inherant strangeness of the "story" told in this record.

I'll admit, I wasn't as taken with this chapter as I was by the strong start made in the introduction. Granted, it does mimic academic writings very well, but it just didn't seem quite as engaging. Does set the stage nicely for the actual events of the Navidson Record though.

Signing off,

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