[after his parents have left, thinking he is ill] "They bought it. Incredible! One of the worst performances of my…
Bullied prep school loner Robert (Ezra Miller) captures his classmates' various escapades on video, but when he winds up filming two girls fatally overdosing on cocaine, his footage plays a role in the emotional fallout within the school community. As the students and faculty at the sheltered academy try to cope with the tragedy, many spiral into despair. Antonio Campos directs this film, which explores the ethics of voyeurism.
A much deserving selection at Cannes (Un Certain Regard) and New York Film Festivals, Afterschool has much to say about high school life and our media-saturated culture.
The film focuses on an introvert named Rob who, while doing a film project at a private boarding school, catches two twins dying due to ingesting drugs contaminated with rat poisoning. Instead of calling for help, he simply watches them deteriorate. Though the incident is caught by a security camera and cellphone, Rob's face remains invisible. This creates a paranoid, almost oppressive environment at school. Rob and another student, Amy, are assigned the task to create a memorial video, which isn't accepted because it veers from the norm. The duo however end up…
If Campos had stuck to his guns and made a film about disaffected youth and the modern video age, I probably wouldn't have minded it too much. When he started breaking out the 9/11 metaphors though, I'm afraid that's when he lost me. It's all just a bit too heavy-handed and unfocused.
And I think it's possible to overdo that thing where you use shallow depth of field and abstract framing to convey dissociation and alienation. It can sometimes be good to have a shot or two where you can actually see everyone involved in the scene clearly. You know, for variety.
Ever get the feeling you're being watched?
A devastatingly dizzying entrance into the confusion of a teenager learning how to synthesize the broken pieces of information scattered throughout his brain in a way that allows him to live with others and himself, and also (somehow, amazingly) a pointed assessment in how the proliferation of video heightens the brokenness and resists the synthesis. (That's not a sentence, but perhaps you'll forgive me as I'm writing about failed attempts to synthesize scattered thoughts?) For Robert, there is no beautiful mosaic here; the broken glass remains broken.
In Margaret a teenager slowly realizes that the world doesn't meet her expectations for what makes sense. In Afterschool a teenager never learns that his mind, which is to make sense of the…
Despite a superb performance from Ezra Miller and the sense of style in the film, Antonio Campos ends up creating something that isn't very involving while most of ends up being very pretentious in its compositions and doesn't go for anything heavy.
Alternately fascinating and frustrating, this willfully disturbing drama is about the moral uncertainty that envelops an elite prep school when a student (WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN's Ezra Miller) accidentally records two popular girls overdosing on cocaine and keeps filming rather than going for help. There are many great (if underdeveloped) ideas here about a generation numbed by YouTube, and director Antonio Campos is obviously a big fan of Michael Haneke. It doesn't quite all hang together, but Campos is certainly one to watch.
experimental and stirring, but didn't hit the mark for me
the four-second flashback at the very end hits like a stiff shot to the gut, and makes the whole film. shades of Haneke at his best.
I feel like this is the film that Michael Haneke tried to make for years and failed.
Película 26 de Reto Cinéfilo 2015, correspondiente a la categoría 36: Una película ambientada en el instituto.
Más allá de crear incertidumbre y zozobra sobre el tema de desarrollo, como si fuera un "misterio", la verdad es que aburre muchísimo.
Es lenta, por momentos somnífera, y ese gusto del director por hacer tomas intimistas para casi todo, me parece muy exagerado, por lo que el producto final se siente una colección de escenas sin sentido y extremadamante largas.
Al final, no vi nada.
Wow. This one took me by surprise. A brilliant thematic coalescence of the twofold paranoia of idealism's death in a post-9/11 society and the fear that every breath we take is being stored in the Library of Congress. On a side note, I got a strong Blair Witch Project vibe from all the cell-phone video footage shots, for some reason.
Brilliant. Rarely seen private high school life portrayed so accurately -- a beautiful nod to Michael Haneke's 'Caché' while maintaining a specificity to the disillusionment of the young American information age.
"Well I used to really like videos, but I think I might be getting tired of them."
So, the first time I watched this, after it was over, I just stared at my TV screen for about ten minutes. "Did this 23-year-old kid just make one of the greatest films ever????" I was absolutely stunned; never before had I seen such mastery of form and content like that.
Well, that was 2009, when I was 23 years old. And, well, either the movie has changed since then (unlikely), or I have (more likely). And it's lost some of its hold on me--parts of it (that opening YouTube montage, cutting from the hanging of Hussein to a cat playing a piano) seem too precocious, too 'twee,' too "look at me I AM SAYING SOMETHING," too much the product…
No idea if there is a list for this yet, but I think I will keep this as kind of…