Stroszek ★★★★

IS THIS REALLY ME?

The kind of film that makes dunces out of Vincent Gallo and Harmony Korine. The whole thing bleeds the same silent fissure as the spirit. The little joys don't add up. The soul-deadening banality of living to work, anywhere in the world, and the real and figurative barriers of communication that keep us apart. And like life, it's full of discomfiting misfires and involuntary laughter. The humor often arises from the mundane absurdity, such as one sequence after their mobile home has been auctioned off when Scheitz and Bruno, gun in tow, attempt to rob a bank, find that it's closed, decide instead to rob a barber downstairs for $32, and then proceed to walk across the street and nonchalantly peruse merchandise at a grocery store. It sounds like something you'd actually hear on the local news. Herzog, by virtue of the way in which he captures people and places, bores through the medium of film and hits a raw nerve of familiar despair in provincial living. The passion we have for living is unceremoniously sapped out of us as we mature, and a change of scenery but not of heart or circumstance reveals the futility in trying to get it back. In life, I suppose, you're either the dancing chicken or the frozen one. Now doesn't that get you excited to vote?

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