Shown within 30 days of Kazuhiro Soda's "Peace," which swims in similar waters but *what* a difference. Here, the filmmaker had a subject he cared about, & an experience he wanted to share, but his approach can't compel more than a tiny segment to want to share it & go all the way on the journey. The earnest try for "realism" via extreme, lifeless restraint prompts little fascination. It undercuts a worthy cause.
The first half was interesting, as it followed someone through learning the ropes at work. The second half, focusing on a different person who was adrift, was not as compelling. It felt like two snapshots, and I wanted to hear about one of them more than the other. Perhaps it could have been shorter, or longer, since at this length it felt awkward, stuck between not enough (for narrative) and too much (for mood).
Man, the dread of existence is real. I like the vulnerability Deragh Campbell gives to her characters, though I wish I could have seen more of her characters struggle, I love that she says she could never be a writer, yet, writing is the only tool she actually dominates to communicate her ideas. But for 67 minutes, I think the movie manages to create some really good moments.
(3.5 stars) A gentle and realistic film. It's mesmerizing, almost documentary in form, and simply allows the story to unfold rather than pushing a bunch of plot at us. It flows along very slowly and smoothly, but is never dull. At only about an hour in length, I do wish that the story wrapped up a little neater, as I felt it had more time to do so, but still... it is quite enjoyable and as engaging as it is tender.
I find most of the least positive reviews to be complaining about what the film is not rather than what the film is. It is about two people finding their way through a system that neither quite yet understands and in the case of Eric probably never will understand, is incapable of understanding. Isolde I fear will resign herself to a treadmill career of hoping her clients appear. Haunting.
The film set a pace and tone which some might find uneasy, but overall it exceptionally captured the mundanity of the life of both its main characters. I could really feel authenticity behind both the struggles of the girl to adjust to her job and the apathy or lethargic attitude of her client. Additionally, I loved the sounds they captured because they created a natural sound to compliment the tone of the film.
I honestly don't understand why the director/writer could not have attempted to make the narrative at least a tiny bit more prominent. It's not a surrealist movie or something of the kind, it is a simple film with two major characters, about important, real-life issues. And it's not even a documentary. Why not make it more accessible and less pretentiously subtle for the sake of everyone?
It's very interesting how the film mixes documentary and fictional elements. It is done with great mastery and subtelty. It's a very clever look at life in this system. And how each of us deal with it, so it's not much about a single character, but about existence on the whole.
1.5 Title needs to change to "Failure to Appear." The "ure" sound would be nicely echoed by the "ear" sound. Script needs to decide if the main character is Isolde or Eric. We had an interesting beginning with Isolde, but the switch to Eric fails to make the film cohesive or satisfying. Isolde's story could be easily intercut with scenes from her client's lives, thus possibly continuing some forward momentum.
At the beginning the movie promised to be a good one but once it started to develop the story, it just never came up. The story is missing. It´s really a nice try. Well filmed. I like the way is filmed. The time, the lights, everything is really fine though the assistant character could be more optimistic, a cold country culture? Well, maybe. But the point is the story, it is not telled, a pity, a simple sketch?
This film starts off slow, and then seems to move slower and slower. I have no problem with “slow” films, however. A slow pace can allow for more subtle emotions and moods to surface— something this movie excelled at. But a slow pace can also magnify small flaws and idiosyncrasies as well.