The great Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky called the art of cinema the art of sculpting time. "What is the essence of the director's work?" Tarkovsky wrote. "Just as a sculptor takes a lump of marble, and, inwardly conscious of the features of his finished piece, removes everything that is not part of it—so the filmmaker, from a 'lump of time' made up of an enormous, solid cluster of living facts, cuts off and discards whatever he does not need, leaving only what is to be an element of the finished film." With that thought in mind, we can turn to a fascinating film directed by Alex and Andrew Smith, Winter in the Blood.

Based on the 1974 novel by James Welch, the film of Winter is both remarkable and challenging because it is fully committed to a structure and feeling of time that is not at all European. The film has no real beginning or end, and even begins where it ends, and ends where it begins, on a Native American reservation in Montana. Throughout the film, we are constantly circling a young man named Virgil First Raise (Chaske Spencer, an actor famous for his role in the Twilight series). He, like his father and all the other men in his family, is an alcoholic, and will likely die like his father, who drank too, too, too much one sad and cold night, fell into a ditch, and froze to death...

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