Friday, October 28, 2011

Review in from Viennale

 This was quickly translated from German by the reviewer.  Translation bumps and all,  I thought it captured the film nicely.  

 Review from Pia Reiser of FM4 in Austria
He is more than happy to see so many people at  the 11'o'clock screening of "You hurt my feelings" at the Uraniakino in Vienna, says director Steve Collins and continues to describe it as a heartwarming experience, especially when considering that it is very hard to get people in the United States to an early film screening.

I love going to the movies before midday, head and mind are still fresh and the film is free from the burden to be some kind of evening entertainment.
John ( (John Merriman)  is in his thirties, looking into the world with soft yet sad eyes. He stumps through the snow, walking a dog while carrying a baby (or the other way round). "You're hurting my feelings", says Lily, who walks in front of him. And keeps repeating it. Lily is about three years old and the most eloquent one in this film, where people don't really talk much. John who slightly resembles Zach Galifianakis when wearing a beard and reminds me of Rainn Wilson, when shaved, works as a Nanny for a working single Mum of two girls. He is caring, but lethargic. With his work as nanny he wants to prove to his ex-girlfriend Courtney (Courtney Davis), that he is capable of taking responsibilitiy. Things get slighty akward, when Courtney's new boyfriend Macon (Macon Blair) believes to have found "a real buddy" in sceptic looking John.

People in their thirties who seem to be lost, who drift through the day, the night and life and have slight propblems of coping with the challenges of everyday life can be found in countless (american) films. Collins' film stands out, because instead of wisecracking indie-yackety-yak, there's silence. Or only snippets of dialogue. The scenes never aim at a punch line or a climax. We fall into scenes and out o them. Sometimes dramatic things are left out and we are confronted with the outcome right away.

While the seasons change and the camera from Jeremy Saulnier clings to blossoming magnolia trees or a frozen sea, there are hardly any changes in John's life. He does not have control over his life, most of the time, he does not even have control over the two girls, he's supposed to take care of.
With the repetition of motifs or even scenes, Collins weaves humour into his floating, melancholic film.
"You hurt my feelings" is a film that demands your attention and your patience and that unfolds beautifully on the big screen. Being moved and impressed by the tender story that develops so much impact on the big screen, "You hurt my feelings" becomes a a reminder of the power of cinema. And the fifth day of the Viennale has only just begun.

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