Monday, March 24, 2014

Story of My Death (2014) New Directors New Films 2014

From my notes on seeing The Story of my Death

The film opens with a bunch of people sitting around a table eating. There is talk about writing and this trails off to a several minue long seqence of a woman dealing with a drunk man. No words are spoken it just goes on and on before she gets up and walks off. I should have done likewise.

(What followed in) the next 30 minutes was Casanova sitting and eating and philosophizing in a series of long  takes. We listen as he eats nuts or berries and crunches as he talks.Some of it has to do with women, some on other subjects. What is the point?

Things get worse (as we watch for) several minutes as Casanova tries to take a dump and laughs about his constipation. When he's done, he eats and contemplates his poo which makes him laugh.

After lots of talk and inaction, (and scribbles in my notes about wishing someone would come in and kill me) Casanova and his man servant end up in Carpathia with Dracula.

Whats it all mean? It means I wasted an evening seeing this slow and painfully dull film that runs close to two and a half hours.. If I had any sense I would have left the theater after the first ten minutes but I soldiered on in some mock slow suicide hoping against hope that something would happen or that some one would say something meaningful.

It never happened.

I'm told that the film won the top award at the Locarno Film Festival but I can't imagine how that could have happened short of the director holding the voters hostage and threatening to make them watch the film a second time.

The film plays on March 26 at MOMA and March 29th at Lincoln Center and if you're smart you'll make plans for a root canal at the same time. On the other hand if you like slow dull psuedo-philosophical pretentious art films give this a try- though be warned there is no reward if you make to the end, only the worried look of the theater staffs concerning your sanity.

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