“Gaia” is wealthy with references, Coronary heart of Darkness being the obvious. There are additionally shades of “Deliverance” (all these bows and arrows and wilderness accidents, to not point out an encounter with an unstoppable “Different”), and shades of “The Mosquito Coast,” the place a madman father holds his naive son (and everybody round him) in thrall, extra cult-leader than dad or mum. “Gaia” can also be, with a few quirks, a very good old style monster film. However the movie is as much as one thing far past a easy cross-genre train. The warnings about what humanity has performed to the earth energy “Gaia” with urgency and terror, however Kapp complicates issues by placing the “sermon” about environmental devastation into the mouth of a fanatic, shouting about all of the “whores and false goddesses” residing out within the trendy world. He’s a wild-eyed Abraham, prepared to current a human sacrifice to the ravenous Fungi God.
“Gaia” was shot by cinematographer Jorrie van der Walt, and the pictures have an eerie tactile high quality, dense with element and texture: the thick exhausting cords of tree bark, the inexperienced pond-scum shifting sluggishly, the mushroom spores floating ominously by means of the blackness, little orange mushrooms springing out of a department, the spinning cosmos above the timber. There are quite a few dream sequences, or maybe hallucinations resulting from all of the mushroom mud floating round, and these are terrifying and sometimes stunning: mushrooms pushing out of Gabi’s arm, her fingers plunged into thick black mud; Barend fornicating wildly with a gap within the filth; Gabi mendacity bare beside a crystal-clear pond, the water calm and nonetheless. These sequences are very unnerving.
The “message” of “Gaia” is straightforward, and but it is informed in a approach that complicates and perhaps even obscures the message. That is not essentially a nasty factor. What one is absolutely left with is the picture of all of these mushrooms, spreading round timber, pushing their approach up, blindly looking for increasingly area. It is us or them. Sylvia Plath wrote a poem from a mushroom’s standpoint. Its closing traces:
Nudgers and shovers
Our sort multiplies:
We will by morning
Inherit the earth.
Our foot’s within the door.”