Requiem for a Happy Movie

Categories: Culture


Don't let the lush, tropical grounds surrounding University of Miami's Bill Cosford theater lull you into thinking things are just as delectable on the inside of the movie house. They're not.

Based on the smattering of movies I've seen from this year's usually impressive repertoire of unconventional works, who ever is programming the line up at UM is suicidal and wants the rest of the world to feel as wrist-slittingly grim as they do.

Take my word for it: Start filling the tub -- being buried alive might be more fun than sitting through some of their offerings this year.

The dark streak began last fall with the unrelentingly depressing The Grey Zone, which was the bleakest film I have ever seen. Yes, yes, yes, I'm well aware it was based on actual events surrounding the Holocaust. But still...this is the entertainment industry, is it not?

Now there's Requiem, a subtitled German-language film by Hans-Christian Schmid, opening today.

Based on the true story that inspired The Exorcism of Emily Rose (complete and utter garbage, FYI), the plot traces a teenage girl's departure from her parents' home to college. She has epilepsy, only her folks' deeply religious minds conclude her seizures mean she is harboring Beelzebub. The bleak landscape and omnipresent grey skies only add to the doomsday feeling exuded by the film's central characters.

It's depressing, slow-paced, and predictable. See it at your own peril. Or wait two months until an Argentine film about familial love, Family Law, comes out. It's a comedy. -Joanne Green


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