Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Absurdistan: Movie Review

Aburdistan (Veit Helmer, 2008)

Rub a dub dub, there’s no water in the tub for the butcher, the baker, or the candlestick maker in Veit Helmer’s Absurdistan after the pipeline to the village stops working. Taking a cue from the Lysistrata playbook, the women of the village put the brakes on the lusty behavior of the men folk until the water flows again. Laziness, however, proves a greater force than lustiness, demonstrated by the myriad attempts the men make to get laid when there’s a nookie drought. At the heart of Absurdistan are Aya (Kristyna Malérová) and Temelko (Maximilian Mauff) two literally star-crossed lovers who are destined to conjugate for the first time during a cosmic conjunction.

Absurdistan shares the same light-hearted spirit and pure storytelling as director Veit Helmer’s 1999 film Tuvalu. The narrative plays out without need for dialogue with scenes often comprised of a simple setup and payoff. There are only a handful of spoken lines. The faces of the villagers do well enough to communicate their emotions. Maximilian Mauff frequently resembles Buster Keaton with his stoic, put- upon expression.

A simple story, yes, but Helmer and the cast make Absurdistan a sublime, silly love story.

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