The Rizzos, a family who doesn't share their habits, aspirations, and careers with one another, find their delicate web of lies disturbed by the arrival of a young ex-con (Strait) brought ... See full summary »
Raymond De Felitta
Having joined a recently created video club, a lowly prep-school sophomore - desensitized from reality by frequently viewed Internet imagery - accidentally captures on video the final moments of admired twin senior classmates dying from poisoned drugs. Rather than galvanize the school or this lad's life in any profound or meaningful way, the tragedy causes barely a ripple in the already emotionally diminished and out-of-touch lives of everyone around.Written by
[after seeing the memorial video Robert made]
Is that serious, Robert?
What do you mean?
Is there something wrong with you, Robert? I'm no editor but I can safely say that's probably the worst thing I've ever seen. You didn't even have music! I'm gonna tell Mr. Wiseman to have someone else reediting everything. You... I'm very disappointed.
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OK. I've tried to finish this exercise in audience alienation twice. First I stopped after half an hour of watching admittedly realistic, if over-familiar and desultory, dialog, and trying to stay interested in people I only half-saw, or saw from a distance, or from the back of their heads, all going through what looked very much like what innumerable prep school students go through regularly. Having decided there really wasn't a point to this, I came here and discovered... there is a Major Dramatic Event in the movie! Somewhere. So I put in the DVD again and watched for about ten minutes past said Major Dramatic Event. Only to find more perfectly believable, probably emotionally rich, scenes shown at a numbing distance and presented at a tortuously slow pace. Yes, this film is like "Elephant" - and a number of other punishingly self-indulgent Gus Van Sant films. Not to mention various low-budget French films I saw in Paris in the Eighties (I mainly remember long shots of people walking down hallways, the echo of their footsteps the only soundtrack). This is, in other words, a parody of many people's worst fantasy of an independent film. It's not exaggerated to say I got to the point where I was actually resenting the film's abuse of my (not overly available) time. As for being "innovative".... if you loved "Last Year at Mariendbad" (1961), this kind of film-making will be right up your alley.
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