Tuvalu at the U Film Society’s Bell Auditorium


I have no idea what the hell is going on in this movie. I do not understand. I don’t get it. I am incapable of formulating anything coherently intelligible to say about Tuvalu. So, the following is my half-assed, mind-boggled interpretation.


Tuvalu (I think?) follows around several different people (or maybe just one?) where dialogue is not only minimal, it’s absent. Garbled sounds are tossed about to express joy, pain, sorrow, lust, et cetera, and I’m pretty sure I heard a “Papa!” in there once or twice, but Shakespeare this is not.


Three (maybe more, maybe less) tints are used in this film. Black and white, a sepia, and light blue. Timed to affect mood, the tints do seem to vary the existing setting by way of feeling. The black and white could represent plain stagnancy. The sepia is more antiquated, creating a homey and thus more comfortable plane for the characters. The blue, cold (sterility?) is used to counter-balance the sepia. Here in the blue world, the characters are devoid of feeling, longing to return to the lost warmth of sepia-tint land.

Or maybe, there are no tintsÖ.


As Tuvalu plays badminton with the setting, the plot seems to be even more bizarre. One of (or maybe the only) the central characters is a custodian/lifeguard at an indoor pool. One of the members, a twenty something coquette goes for a swim and has her bra stolen and “furiously inhaled” by the custodian. Starting to sound weird? Ok, get ready. Smitten with her, the custodian and girl occupy the next hour of celluloid by cavorting about sea and land in an effort to accomplish a goal only too obscure for me to figure out.


Tuvalu is a film that tests my critical pen and ends up showing me how much there is I don’t know nor understand. Is this film bad? Maybe. Is this film good? Possibly. I admit defeat, I really don’t know.


-Sean McGrath


Tuvalu will show at the U Film Society’s Bell Auditorium March 15 – 21.