Wednesday, May 1, 2013

My two cents on Oxyana (2013) Tribeca 2013

Oceana in West Virginia is called Oxyana because there is so much prescription drug addiction that pretty much everyone is one something. Crime is rampant. The town is effectively dying. This film is the story of some of the people in the town.

What could have been a solid 30 minute film is stretched past the breaking point at 83 minutes. While there is nothing  really wrong with the film, it suffers from from a major problem it repeats it self over and over and over again.

If you watch this film you'll learn that:

1. Most people in Oceana are addicted to Oxycontin
2. Most people in Oceana are dying of overdoses (often faster than they can be arrested)
3.There is nothing to do in Oceana except drugs
4. Being on Oxcodone is one of the best feelings in the world
5. Most people want to get off the drugs but they don't want to face the unpleasantness of getting off it.

And you will be told this over and over and over again over the course of 83 minutes. There is no solution, only a restatement of the problem.

Its frightening and sad to start, but then it gets dull and boring and you disconnect.

This would be a great film if you cut 50 minutes out of it....that's not likely to happen, but that's what they should do. (Actually what they should do is focus on  the man and his wife who are living a heart breaking tale of drugs and cancer...)

1 comment:

  1. Steve, on this one we are miles apart. If there was redundancy in the manner you opine I'd say it may well have purposely captured the tone and dead-end nature of this repetitious mundane existence. To have portrayed it any other way with a conscious eye for variety may have rung false, but in any case I wasn't bothered by it myself. Oxyana, West Virginia, blessed with nature’s rustic appeal is actually right out of David Lynch’s playbook- it’s a town with a history of drug dependency, one where it’s afflicted residents make cringing if honest admissions about how hopeless their personal situations are, and how they are collectively, only concerned with the timing of their next fix. In Oxyana, husbands kill wives children for pills, mothers forfeit their babies and women prostitute themselves. A talking heads documentary that both horrifies and rivets, the film features a startling cast of characters who understand their dire prospects, but have invariably come to terms with their fates. The film’s tone and rhythm is driven by a haunting score by Deer Tick, and there is an unmistakable underpinning of trailer trash humor that that at least lightens the nocturnal proceedings. Top rank documentary.