Combustible Celluloid
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With: Birgit Minichmayr, Lars Eidinger, Hans-Jochen Wagner, Nicole Marischka, Mira Partecke, Atef Vogel, Paula Hartmann, Carina N. Wiese, Laura Zedda, Claudio Melis
Written by: Maren Ade
Directed by: Maren Ade
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Language: German, Italian, with English subtitles
Running Time: 119
Date: 02/09/2009

Everyone Else (2010)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Alienation Vacation

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

The second feature by German filmmaker Maren Ade, Everyone Else is a rare movie that concentrates more on genuine characters and emotions more than it does visual style. For some, it may delve a bit too deep into painful territory, the source of which -- of course -- is lack of communication.

Chris (Lars Eidinger) is a tall, gangly small-time architect, and Gitti (Birgit Minichmayr) is a tough, pretty music publicist for a band called the Shames. Together this German couple is vacationing in Italy, and from the start, everything seems off-kilter. Gitti has a tense encounter with Chris' niece, and the couple never seems to be on the same page at the same moment.

Things get worse when an architect colleague of Chris's turns up; Chris wants both to avoid and impress the more successful man, though Gitti sees this more clearly than Chris does.

Ade films in a grungy, realistic style much like Cassavetes, and though the film has drawn comparisons to Antonioni, Bergman and Rossellini, it lacks the "bigger picture" feel of those films; Ade moves closer and uses her camera to depict alienation, as if this stuff happens every day. And it does.

Viewed at the 53rd San Francisco International Film Festival.

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