Cast: Luana Velis, Johannes Benecke, Jan Bluthardt, Lilli Lorenz
Written by: Tilman Singer
Directed by: Tilman Singer
Running Time: 70 minutes
Reviewed by Philip Wade
Luz is an avant-garde piece of story that was filmed, on film. Kodak 16mm if you believe the credits. Visually and audibly if you had told me this movie was filmed in the mid-80’s in an office building that hadn’t seen an update since the late 60’s or early 70’s I would have no trouble accepting that as fact.
The cinematography of this film transported me back to my early years, when I would sneak into the living room after everyone had gone to bed and try to peek at late night cable, hoping to see breasts or some hint of late-night cable sex, without my parents waking up and grounding me.
For that return to my childhood I am grateful for the nostalgic trip.
Luz is either a student film or an art film, and has that avant-garde feel. There are long drawn-out wide-angle shots where there is action going on in one or two sections of the scene. The space doesn’t seem to be wasted, but the time does.
Dialogue is vague and obtuse, which is a staple of mystery/thriller movies that rely on tone, dialogue and setting to form the tapestry of story. The problem for me is, as a native English speaker, this movie is filmed in German and some Spanish. Part of the necessary plot detail and tension is when the characters are speaking Spanish and the characters interactions and reactions to this fact get lost if you’re busy reading subtitles.
I found the story itself predictable and uninteresting. At 70 minutes, this is not a quick movie. It drags on and on. It felt like it lasted a couple hours. There is a lot of dead space and it has the feel of a movie that is on display, just for the sake of being on display. If given the choice between manually stimulating a dog for a sample to inseminate another dog with or watching this movie, I’d pick jacking-off a dog.
So, it’s an art movie and people love it. I did not. This movie is touted as an award nominee and winner. If the awards page is to be believed, it has, it’s won awards band been nominated for things I’ve never heard of.
I give this film a 10/100. Five points for using film. Five points for only being 70 minutes long. If you like long drawn out widescreen shots with nothing going on, hard to follow story and dialogue and want to watch an “art movie,” this might be for you. If you’re not a wanker, avoid this film.
Opening theatrically in New York (IFC Center, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema City Point, Nitehawk Cinema Williamsburg) and Los Angeles (Laemmle Monica, Laemmle Glendale) on Friday, July 19 with a national release to follow.