eligious ecstasy. Gambling. Electro-sexual stimulation. The collapsing of new buildings. Human remains. Love among ex-addicts. Desert driving. A boy running along the bank of a river, chasing the camera.
Fragments from the mural of humanity. What could have been pure abstraction is a series of statements by both the filmmaker and the participants on existence.
Peter Mettler uses his skills as a cinematographer and filmmaker to create a visually compelling film that traces a route from Canada to Las Vegas to Switzerland to India. At each destination he talks to the locals and shows us that everyone has insight into the nature of being and the search for meaning.
The mind drifts through shots of foreign scenery, landscapes and people we may not recognize but can relate to. This film has more humanity in it than a thousand Hollywood tear-jerkers.
The soundtrack contains the original music by Peter Bräker, Fred Frith and DJ Dimitri de Perrot. As well, Mettler utilizes appropriate music by Henryk Gorecki, Jim O'Rourke and others.
From his bio it seems Mettler developed his skills as a cinematographer with the likes of Atom Egoyan and Bruce McDonald, but is certainly his own filmmaker. His work does convey some of the visual feeling that Egoyan films carry, but Mettler produces a unique work without obvious influence.
Gambling, Gods and LSD is one of those rare films that has people saying the 3 hour running time is too short. And it is.
While writing this I struggle to express the odd and wonderful effect this film had. After leaving the theatre and walking into the evening throng of Vancouver's Robson St. I was overwhelmed, feeling light from the heady experience of the film. The film leaves you with a strange faith in the ongoing struggle of humanity trying to understand itself. Mettler's art gives us a new perceptual filter in life, and I eagerly await his next effort.
Visit the Gambling, Gods and LSD website for more extensive information about the creation of the film and about Peter Mettler.