“To what extent is the computer a presence in itself?” Filmmaker Alice Lenay asks this near the midpoint of her documentary, Dear Hacker. She is on a webcam, interviewing people she knows (in some cases, it seems, people she knows solely from web-based interactions) about the possibility of a hacker hijacking her webcam. The film begins with her describing the blinking of the LED indicator light next to the webcam, which has made her fear that someone might be watching her. Although, fear may not be the most accurate word. More curious than afraid.
“Are you stupid or what?” exclaims Zabulon (Harpo Guit) to his brother Issacher (Maxi Delmelle) about halfway into Mother Schmuckers, a crass, raucous comedy from Guit and his brother Lenny Guit. To his credit, Zabulon is quite right. Yes, they are both stupid, and yes, it is an unbearable experience watching them traipse around Brussels exhibiting their idiocy onto everyone that gets in their way for what amounts to 70 unending minutes of screentime.
The film doesn’t have a linear plot, per se. One could say it involves the brothers looking for a lost dog or fending off one of their mother’s lecherous suitors. But it is more rightly described as episodic, with each episode doubling down on the provocation of the film’s opening scene (in which the two brothers are introduced cooking human excrement and Continue reading Review: Mother Schmuckers — Fantasia Festival 2021→
James Preble (Kentucker Audley, who also co-directs) is a tax worker, but what he audits is out of the ordinary. In the near future of Strawberry Mansion, the state audits people’s dreams, taxing the objects which manifest within the sleeping unconscious. Preble finds himself working a job on a remote estate owned by an elderly artist, Bella Isadora (Penny Fuller).
For his thirtieth birthday, the mother of Ah Bee (Thomas Pang) gifts him an invitation to the Tiong Bahru Social Club, a closed-off living community dedicated to providing and spreading happiness among its residents. “Everyone’s happiness is our business,” boasts the community’s advertisement. They are “the happiest neighborhood in the world.”