2 items from 2017
If you can’t trust the talking cat — or perhaps the question should be if you can — whom do you trust? Such are brain-frying quandaries viewers may face deep into the darkness of “Animals,” a deliciously unhinged, blood-laced adult fairy tale from Swiss-Polish writer-director Greg Zglinski. Setting out with real-world levels of macabre nastiness as it wittily probes the marital faultlines between a bourgeois Viennese couple attempting a restorative Alpine getaway, the film takes a smooth, almost imperceptible left turn into Lynchian realms of illogic that will leave adventurous audiences both rapt and dazed, dreamily uncertain of where exactly they lost the plot. Unraveling this cat’s-cradle isn’t half as important or pleasurable as getting entangled in it to begin with; Zglinski’s espresso-dark humor and icy formal precision may nod to a host of expert cinematic mind-gamers, from Polanski to von Trier, at different intervals, but “Animals” gleefully »
- Guy Lodge
One of the definitive joys of covering the Berlinale is combing through the vast program of its sidebar sections. Featuring literally hundreds of movies this side of the glamorous competition, it’s often where programmers get to be creative and screen some of the best-kept secrets of the festival. The queer-licious Panorama section won us over with such titles as God’s Own Country, Close-Knit and Skins. Meanwhile, the more experimental-leaning Forum section served up the expected oddities including Somniloquies and Animals, a trippy mindf*ck from Switzerland/Austria.
The setup seems straightforward enough: Nick (Philipp Hochmair) is a chef, about to take six months off to travel the Swiss countryside and collect regional recipes with wife Anna (Birgit Minichmayr), a children’s book author suffering from a case of jealousy and possibly also writer’s block. On the eve of their departure, Nick brings home a good-looking acquaintance »
- Zhuo-Ning Su
2 items from 2017
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