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"Everyone Else," "The Pink Hotel," Docs and More

The Auteurs DailyEveryone Else

"Everyone Else, a sun-kissed German film about a young couple in love and in doubt, might not be perfect, but so much is right and true in this lovely, delicate work that it comes breathtakingly close," writes Manohla Dargis in the New York Times.

The Voice's J Hoberman finds it "more fascinating than enjoyable. Placing a youngish, newly formed couple under relentless observation, [Maren] Ade's two-hour squirmathon gets a bit more intimate on the subject of intimacy than the viewer might wish.... Ade's exploration of intimacy and its discontents recalls the European relationship epics of 35 years ago — Rivette's L'amour fou, Bergman's Scenes From a Marriage, Jean Eustache's The Mother and the Whore — but it's purposefully down-sized and set in a lower key."

Anthony Lane's review "fills me with envy," blogs the New Yorker's Richard Brody, "because his is a substantial and engaging experience, whereas mine is the film that wouldn't die."

"I've never seen a more nuanced on-screen portrait of a relationship," writes Nelson Kim at Hammer to Nail. "Its devastating accuracy has little to do with whether one identifies with Chris [Lars Eidinger] or with Gitti [Birgit Minichmayr], or indeed with Hans [Hans-Jochen Wagner] or Sana [Nicole Marischka]; what matters is how beautifully the movie captures the overall dynamic of being part of a couple. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the film especially resonates with viewers close to Chris and Gitti's age (thirties) — quite a few people I've spoken to share my feeling that Ade and her two amazingly resourceful actors have somehow nailed us, in ways both discomfiting and terrifically exciting."

More from Bilge Ebiri (IFC), Scott Tobias (AV Club), Keith Uhlich (Time Out New York) and James van Maanen. Earlier: Reviews from the New York Film Festival and Kevin Lee's interview with Ade. Today, indieWIRE relaunches its "Futures" column with Peter Knegt's interview with Minichmayr. Everyone Else is at New York's IFC Center.

 


"The Pink Hotel, the first feature by Chicago filmmaker (and Kalamazoo native) Chris Hefner, 26, takes a loving look back to a past that never existed — both in cinema and in Chicago landmarks including the Music Box (which comes off as a threadbare Marienbad)." Ray Pride for Newcity Chicago: "Shot in Super-8 black-and-white reversal film and set in a luxury hotel filled with strange tenants with stranger dreams, The Pink Hotel's 1930s-that-never-was is steeped in dread and fear, slippery as smoke and elusive as cryptic, recurring dreams."

More from Ed M Koziarski in the Chicago Reader, where JR Jones previews Sci-Fi Spectacular 4, which "begins Sat 4/10 at 11:30 am and runs for 14½ hours, wrapping up at 2 am Sun 4/11."

And while we're in Chicago: "Sunday afternoon at the Music Box Theatre, a rare big-screen presentation of producer Cecil B DeMille's Chicago (unavailable on DVD) will receive the full jazzbo treatment," reports the Tribune's Michael Phillips.



The Square



"Originality can be overrated," writes Bilge Ebiri for IFC. "Nash Edgerton's Aussie thriller The Square doesn't really have an original bone in its body, and I'm not sure it needs to. It belongs to that well-worn noir subgenre of adulterous lovers attempting to make a break for it — Blood Simple is an obvious influence — but Edgerton eschews the stylized aggressiveness of earlier films for something more lived-in, if not exactly realistic."

The NYT's AO Scott finds it to be "a nasty, gripping exercise in sin and comeuppance," but for Melissa Anderson, writing in the Voice, "this Down Under noir confuses incoherent body pileups with 'twists.'"

More from Stephen Garrett (TONY), Eric Kohn (indieWIRE), Michelle Orange (Movieline), Tasha Robinson (AV Club), Henry Stewart (L) and Jessica West. Mark Olsen has a backgrounder in the Los Angeles Times. Interviews with Edgerton: Adam Keleman (Slant), Stephen McNamee (ioncinema) and Stephen Saito (IFC). Viewing. Brad Brevet gathers eight short films Edgerton made between 1996 and 2007.



Date Night



"Tina Fey and Steve Carell have won their way into the collective heart of the TV-viewing world over the last several years by playing very annoying people who are, often pitifully and pathetically, revealed to be hopelessly sensitive and desperate (just like us!)." Benjamin Sutton in the L Magazine: "Their idiosyncrasies and prejudices, no matter how awful or absurd, have become endearingly familiar and pleasantly predictable sticking points for self-referential humor. It's very disappointing, though not especially surprising, that this style of humor doesn't work in the 85-minute romantic action comedy Date Night, a Mr & Mrs Smith for geeks, a North by Northwest for suburban fortysomethings."

Karina Longworth in the Voice: "A jumble of genres, tones, and styles, Date Night ultimately strains to be a serious movie about marriage, with one joke: that, even when surrounded by excitement, Claire and Phil revert to being dull. But in practice, their dullness is just dull."

But for Slate's Dana Stevens, "This is a movie that I'm inclined to grade on a serious curve, because while it never achieves full-on laugh-riot momentum, it gets one crucial element of comic filmmaking right in a way that few recent comedies have. It's cast, down to the smallest role, with genuinely funny performers, people who understand how to time a joke, deliver a setup, underplay a deadpan glance. Though the material — an often-formulaic script by Josh Klausner, directed by Shawn Levy of the Night at the Museum franchise — isn't always worthy of their talents, Tina Fey and Steve Carell (and many of their co-stars, including Mark Wahlberg, James Franco, and Mila Kunis) manage intermittently to elevate Date Night to giddy heights."

More from Roger Ebert (Chicago Sun-Times), Robert Horton (Herald), Jenni Miller (Cinematical), Michelle Orange (Movieline), Michael Phillips (Tribune), Mary Pols (Time), Nathan Rabin (AV Club), James Rocchi (MSN Movies), Joshua Rothkopf (TONY), Nick Schager (Slant), AO Scott (NYT, where Jonah Weiner talks with the film's makers) and Mary Elizabeth Williams (Salon). Scott Foundas profiles Levy for the LA Weekly. April Long talks with Carell and Fey for the Guardian; more on video from James Rocchi. And John Hiscock interviews Fey for the Telegraph.

 

DOCUMENTARIES

 

When You're Strange

"In When You're Strange, director Tom DiCillo mixes classic and never-before-seen footage to recount the Doors myth in all its ego-stroking, era-defining™, terminally adolescent glory," writes David Schmader in the Stranger. "The film is almost wholly reverential, and aside from the found-film framing device, it's not too stylistically different than something you'd see on the Biography channel. But the new performance footage is thrilling, and the whole, well-known Doors saga remains a deep, dark rock tale for the ages."

More from Josef Braun, Molly Eichel (Philadelphia City Paper), J Hoberman (Voice), Stephen Holden (NYT), Noel Murray (AV Club), Andrew O'Hehir (Salon), Keith Uhlich (TONY) and Armond White (New York Press). Eric Hynes talks with DiCillo for the Voice and Movieline's ST VanAirsdale interviews Ray Manzarek. Jeff Weiss has background in the LAT.

"George and Mike Kuchar, twin brothers from the Bronx, are among the most prolific and inventive American filmmakers of the past half-century, and perhaps the most eccentric," writes AO Scott in the NYT. "Shooting cheaply, devising homemade special effects and casting friends and acquaintances, the Kuchars produced — sometimes in collaboration, sometimes apart — touchstones of the 1960s cinematic avant-garde like Corruption of the Damned, Sins of the Fleshapoids and Hold Me While I'm Naked. Jennifer M Kroot's documentary It Came From Kuchar provides generous clips of these and later films, enough to give a flavor of the brothers' blend of camp, melodrama, horror, psychological exploration and sexual provocation."

The doc opens for a week at Anthology Film Archives, which is also presenting two weekends of films, old and new, long and short, by the Kuchars, and your best guide to this Kuchar Brothers Festival is Nick Pinkerton's in the Voice, who finds It Came From Kuchar to be "an accessible, professional job, with onscreen testimonials from [John] Waters — whose work owes the most to them, and who has been their most faithful proselytizer — Guy Maddin, and Buck Henry."

More from David Fear (TONY) and Joseph Jon Lanthier (Slant). Brandon Harris talks with Kroot for Filmmaker.

"Complex, candid and all-but-essential viewing for hearing audiences, Hilari Scarl's intrepid debut feature, See What I'm Saying: The Deaf Entertainers Documentary, educates without lecturing and engages without effort," writes Jeannette Catsoulis in the NYT. More from John Wheeler in the Voice.

"[S]ince the audience for Fresh is likely already in the know about the ghastly industrialization of agriculture, the film might be a cinematic redundancy," writes Aaron Hillis in the Voice. More from James Van Maanen.

 

BRIEFLY


"Icky, nasty, calculatingly odd and a little funny, though more often strained and inadvertently absurd, After.Life changes its mood and apparent intentions from scene to scene, sometimes minute to minute," writes the NYT's Manohla Dargis. Nicolas Rapold in the Voice: "Somewhere in Agnieszka Wojtowicz-Vosloo's awkward debut feature is a macabre and almost quaint Gothic mystery begging to be left alone." More from Roger Ebert (Sun-Times), Michael Phillips (Tribune), Nick Schager (Slant), Henry Stewart (L), Scott Tobias (AV Club), Keith Uhlich (TONY) and James van Maanen. Susan King talks with Christina Ricci for the LAT; Scott Tobias interviews Justin Long for the AV Club.



The Misfortunates



"The Misfortunates is often very funny, and the rolling remember-when vignettes trump the typical low-country wild-hairy-man sideshows," writes Nicolas Rapold in the Voice. More from Christian Blauvelt (Slant) and Jeannette Catsoulis (NPR).

"A dimly obvious coming-to-terms-with-my-gay-son melodrama, Peter Bratt's La Mission at least has the virtue of an intermittent interest in probing the circumstances that give rise to homophobia," writes Andrew Schenker in Slant. More from Mike Hale (NYT), Kevin B Lee (TONY) and James van Maanen.

"Because the Leonard Chess biopic Who Do You Love was shelved for more than a year to steer clear of the rival project Cadillac Records, the movie can't help but feel like an also-ran," writes Noel Murray at the AV Club. "And it doesn't help that Who Do You Love director Jerry Zaks and screenwriters Peter Martin Wortmann and Robert Conte crib so many of their moves from the well-thumbed biopic playbook." More from Stephen Holden (NYT), Nick Pinkerton (Voice), James van Maanen and Armond White (NYP). Aaron Hillis talks with Alessandro Nivola for IFC.

Ed Gonzalez in Slant: "The Black Waters of Echo's Pond is, like Ti West's The House of the Devil, a throwback, though director Gabriel Bologna's imagination is decidedly bridge-and-tunnel—expensive-looking but still unmistakably trashy." More from Chuck Wilson in the Voice.

"To say that Kim Ji-woon's The Good, the Bad and the Weird, a love letter to Sergio Leone's spaghetti westerns and to the Manchurian action films popular in South Korea in the late 60s, is problematic would be a vast understatement," writes Simon Abrams in Slant. "Not one of our protagonists' motives remains consistent from start to finish... The only side these guys are on is their own, making the film a knowingly cacophonous exercise in futility."

 

IN THE UK


Jerome Taylor, writing in the Independent, finds it "refreshing to see two films coming out within weeks of each other, both of which dare to approach religion with a comic touch.... David Baddiel's new offering, The Infidel, tells the story of a middle-aged Muslim family man who discovers he was actually born a Jew," while Chris Morris's comedy Four Lions "revolves around five wannabe jihadists from Sheffield who plan a series of co-ordinated suicide bombs in London."

The Infidel "is a broad comedy that gleefully and repeatedly stamps on the tender toes of liberal correctness, comparable perhaps to East Is East or something by the Farrelly Brothers," suggests the Guardian's Peter Bradshaw. "It stars Omid Djalili, Archie Panjabi and Richard Schiff (the presidential aide Toby, from TV's The West Wing).... The comedy is knockabout, but the sheer tactlessness is part of what makes it funny, along with Djalili's great big expressive, rubbery face."



The Infidel



"There is a truly great comedy to be made about religion in modern Britain," writes Tom Huddleston in Time Out London: "the infighting, the backbiting, the doublethink and grandstanding, and of course the ordinary, everyday believers caught in the middle. Close-to-the-bone identity-swap tale The Infidel is not that film — but it comes damn close."

More from Kate Muir (Times), Anthony Quinn (Independent) and Tim Robey (Telegraph). Profiles of David Baddiel: Laura Barnett (Guardian), Andrew Johnson (Independent) and Sarfraz Manzoor (Guardian). Four Lions won't open in the UK until May 7, but along with the reviews from Sundance, you can see recent takes from Laurence Boyce (Little White Lies) and Andrew Pulver (Guardian).

"Tilda Swinton is ridiculously enjoyable to watch in the Italian drama I Am Love, dressed in colours you want to drink, and exploring her puzzled, porcelain allure in ways that make the screen fairly quiver," writes the Telegraph's Tim Robey. "Even by Swinton's standards, it's a sensational performance, but the excitements of this pulse-quickening, exotic bird of a film — the first by its Sicilian director, Luca Guadagnino, to win exposure beyond the festival circuit — neither begin nor end there."

More from Peter Bradshaw (Guardian), Dave Calhoun (TOL), Wendy Ide (Times) and Anthony Quinn (Independent).

Time Out London's Dave Calhoun on I Know You Know: "It's been more than a decade since Justin Kerrigan's debut, Human Traffic, and the Welsh director finally returns to cinemas with with this sparky, moving and very personal film that draws on his own memories of growing up in the 1980s." With Robert Carlyle.

Meantime, take a sneak peek at Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's Cemetery Junction, opening Wednesday, courtesy of James Mottram (Independent) and Ben Walters (Guardian).

 

IN OTHER NEWS


"This is the hardest piece I've ever had to write for Salon: my last." Stephanie Zacharek bids farewell. "And lest you think I'm going to hijack this space for a speech about the death of film criticism, I need to say that, realistically, the world could survive without full-time movie critics. But if dedicated, disciplined, paid journalists disappear, we're headed for some very dark times."

"Sex Pistol John Lydon and designer Vivienne Westwood have led the tributes to the punk band's former manager Malcolm McLaren, who has died aged 64," reports the BBC.

"You can, if you so desired, make a strong argument for the importance and originality of the largely forgotten albums Malcolm McLaren released under his own name in the 80s," writes Alexis Petridis in the Guardian. "The first, Duck Rock, was a particularly innovative blending of hip hop and world music, while the video for the hit single 'Buffalo Gals' offered most Britons their first glimpse of breakdancing. But it's as The Sex Pistols' manager that he will be remembered, which means the question of how successful he was in the role is likely to be debated for years to come."

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“Everyone Else”…what a boring movie! I’m a serious follower of new German cinema: I attend the Festival of German Film every year in Melbourne. Yes, I’m in my early thirties, yes I saw “Everyone Else” at the Melbourne International Film Festival 2009. It was easily one of the most tedious films I saw at the festival, from some 17 or 18 movies. That’s saying something, as I also endured “Two Lines” and suffered through “Eccentricities of a Blonde-Haired Girl”. “Everyone Else” has absolutely nothing, and I mean nothing to say, little if anything that is memorable, and about the kindest thing one can say about it is the principal performers look good naked. If you think “Everyone Else” is self-indulgent tripe, try reading the Manohla Dargis review from the New York Times. Certainly NOT fit to print. A perfect example of a (female chauvinistic) reviewer basically admitting the film (by a female director) is empty (“Not much happens even as an entire world opens up”…“Like so much else that happens in the first part of the film and seems irrelevant, even pointless, none of this seems to mean much”), yet struggling to invent kinds things to say about the cinematic nothingness. I’m so sick of these sorts of reviews that ramble on about “a female director would have done this” or “a male director wouldn’t have been able to do that.” I’m also sick of reviews where a supposedly “sophisticated” critic does little else except quote the film, harp on about scenes in annoying detail and give away the last line of the film, as the reviewer makes some “profound” insight about the final line’s significance. Do the people who praise horribly subpar German flicks like “Everybody Else” bother to watch GENUINELY fine German flicks? Do they, the critics, live in the real world to realise the yuppie couples in “Everybody Else” are PRECISELY the reason why so many serious film fans hate soap operas about similarly vapid types portrayed on screen? When you’re down to praising the “sunkissed” look of the film and the fact the players don’t look “remotely plastic”, you’re not saying much (many German films have these two attributes…so what?). I hated this movie, another film fanatic who frequented the MIFF ‘09 hated it, and to top it all off, the film didn’t even get selected for the Festival of German Film (Australia) 2010. I guess the selectors, who watch several dozen new release films from Germany, before narrowing it down to maybe 20 or 25, couldn’t find room for it either. Says it all, really

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