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6.5
/10
465 Ratings

Stinking Heaven

Directed by Nathan Silver
United States, 2015
Comedy, Drama
  • English
  • English

Synopsis

Jim and Lucy run a commune for sober living out of their New Jersey home. Although there’s constant bickering and many fires to be put out, they have established a haven for these outcasts. But the harmony is interrupted when Ann, a recovering addict and the ex-lover of one housemate, arrives.

Our take

Filmed on a bygone video camera, Stinking Heaven immerses you in the darkest crevices of the 1990s: a rehab commune housing a coven of colorful yet caustic personalities. A lucid vision of Sartre’s assertion that “hell is other people,” written with an utmost sincere sense of anarchy. Oddly sublime.

Stinking Heaven Directed by Nathan Silver
The result is an atmosphere of almost unbearable intensity where, as in the work of Jacques Rivette, “real life” and performance mingle, giving the distinct impression that the potent onscreen drama must have reflected the off-screen drama of how the film was made.
December 11, 2015
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A tale of rehabbed junkies shot on junky, rehabbed video equipment, Nathan Silver’s Stinking Heaven is a singularly bleak smash-up psychodrama. Silver’s fifth completed feature since 2009 comes in at a slender seventy minutes; he works at a brisk clip, and like the much larger filmography of South Korea’s Hong Sang-soo, Silver’s work thus far can be experienced as a series of evolving drafts, reworkings that give the feeling of working toward something rather than acting as a testament.
December 10, 2015
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Silver’s partially improvised film—whose story was conceived by the director and Jack Dunphy—is just a tick over 70 minutes, but it packs in too much commotion to feel like short shrift as a feature. Busy and loud to begin with, Heaven crescendos into terminal histrionics during many of its living-room powwows.
December 08, 2015
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