I took a chance at SXSW and saw Pavilion on my first full day at the festival. I heard that it would have some great cinematography. The film is supposed to be about a boy who moves from a lakeside town to Arizona. The synopsis is inconsequential because the film does not follow much of any plot. It would be preferable to read the synopsis before going to the film. You may be lost otherwise, trying to figure out what is supposed to happen.
Pavilion is indeed beautiful, and the cinematography is the star of the film. I liked the stark contrasts between the lakeside, woody area and Arizona. However, the cinematography seemed to be the only reason the film was made. The main character is a boy who is not followed the entire film. It branches off to other characters for no reason. I was unclear of who the main boy was since it started out following another boy. It eventually comes around to the boy who is featured on the poster, but the film does not stay on him. Once the film moves to Arizona, it also starts following other characters.
There is no real dialogue to speak of in Pavilion. Most of it is mumbling by quiet boys or a few sentences by adults here and there. There is a lot of silence, even with characters present, accompanied by long beautiful shots of the scenery.
I found Pavilion to be a complete departure from the films I have seen at SXSW as I would classify it into the art category more than the film category. When the synopsis of the film tells more of the story than the actual film does, there is a problem. It should be accurately marketed so the right audience sees it. I am sure that there are some people out there that would love to see a film like this, but this type of film is not for me.
I give Pavilion 1 “BMX Bike” out of 5.