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10 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Clever and technically brilliant but almost outstays it's welcome

Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom
28 September 2002

A young man who works in a photocopying shop photocopies his hand with amusement one day. However the photocopy then kicks out copies of him earlier in the day etc. He turns the machine off and locks the copies away. However he finds copies of himself repeating themselves all over his town as things begin to get out of hand.

I had very high hopes for this before I watched it because I had heard good things about it and I was mainly satisfied afterwards despite a few problems. The story could be taken as an allegory of cloning or several other things. I ignored the subtexts and focused on the fact that it was simply a clever idea at heart. Technically the film is brilliantly imaginative and worth watching. The film was shot digitally. These digital images were then all photocopied and then animated. In terms of the plot this adds eight to the copying subject but it is also an very different way to make a film.

The slight downside is that the grainy images and rough style can be a little hard on the eyes at first, but I soon forgot this as I watched it. The plot is very clever but it is just one idea. After several minutes the novelty and the freshness wears off and it starts to outstay it's welcome – I wanted it to go somewhere. The ending is good and it saves the film just as it was starting to run out of steam.

Overall I enjoyed it and there's no doubting the imagination and technical ability that went into making this. In a world where Being John Malkovich is praised then this too should be appreciated as it has similar shots if not ideas. Well worth a look – plus it's easily the best (the only!) piece of Austrian cinema I've ever seen!

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11 out of 16 people found the following review useful:


Author: tedg ( from Virginia Beach
4 June 2005

Interesting films are copies of life (or something related to life) that enclose and acknowledge themselves.

I call this "folding," where the film does something and them does something with itself, usually the same "something." That's the idea in many, many films. It is a hot topic in some films schools and many script labs.

And that's what this veteran of film intellectual circles addresses (even though he is from a historically daft area cinematic ally).

Nominally, this is about a man who copies his own reality and encounters the copies. What makes it interesting viewing is how the "copying" is woven into the actual making of the film: what we see was "filmed," then each frame made into a photocopy (with many artifacts of paper) and then filmed. So we get two layers of paper and two layers of film interwoven. Only the paper artifacts are acknowledged.

Very clever. It is only an essay compared to a real folded film like "Moulin Rouge," but a fun film school exercise in real folding.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

The Story Behind It Is More Interesting Than The Story

Author: Theo Robertson from Isle Of Bute, Scotland
8 March 2014

According to the Short Of The Week website the process of filming COPY SHOP was done like this: Shot on digital camcorder , was transferred on to computer and was edited on computer . So what you ask ? Well after that - and here's the hard bit - each and every frame was photocopied and then each and every frame was filmed on 35 mm camera . It leads to a meta-fictional context for the film which narrative wise involves photo copying going haywire and I bet director Virgil Widrich must have gone a bit haywire himself while doing the process . It sounds a nightmare of absolute frustration to do

As admirable as the work that went in to it I am someone who likes a self contained narrative to a story and for something to really jump out and grab me by the throat . Alas COPY SHOP is a good idea filmed in a unique way but is rather one note . A man photocopies himself and this leads to ... well you can what the natural succession of this is going turned up to the power of eleven . No doubt this influenced a film directed by the son of a very famous rock star with Kevin Spacey playing the voice of a computer . You know the movie I mean , a movie incidentally I wasn't mad keen on and to blunt I wasn't mad keen on this one either

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:


Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida
22 February 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This short film is told without any dialog. A rather ordinary looking man works in a copy shop. Oddly, the copier begins acting very strangely, so he unplugs it. However, despite this, the machine begins spitting out copies of the man. At first, it's just one. However, the copy and subsequent copies begin copying themselves--leading to a world inhabited with these copies and seemingly no one else!

You really have to admire the people who made this film. First they filmed the story and then they photocopied the images and placed them one after the other in order to tell a story. Considering the title of the film and the prominence of a copier in the story, it was a brilliant decision. However, it must have taken forever to make the film--especially when all the copies of the title character began appearing. The transitions and effects used throughout the film were also amazingly clever and fit the story perfectly. The logistics of this was amazing and I can't think of a more innovative short film that I have seen in recent months. You simply are stunned at the brilliance of the execution. In fact it's so good that it's not just good as an experimental film but simply a good film.

Just a few years ago, there was a Halloween episode of THE SIMPSONS that had a lot of similarities to this wonderful film. I wonder if Matt Groening and the rest of the Fox TV people were perhaps influenced by COPY SHOP?

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Short and original

Author: shaid from Amsterdam, The Netherlands
29 January 2001

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"This review may contain a spoiler"

I'll keep it short.This is a movie that proves that you don't need a very long movie in order to show what you want to say. The film is about a man who works in a copy shop who suddenly see himself going through the day again and again.The film is only 12 minutes long which is enough to keep things fresh and not becoming irritating.

If you have a chance just see it.It is original and simply good

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Author: Kirpianuscus from Romania
11 January 2017

it is difficult to say why. but it is it - a fascinating movie. for story and for technical manner to make it. for references to the early history of cinema and to Franz Kafka literary universe. for the brilliant music and for the admirable idea. for acting and for the great effort to create a parable about the essence of film, society and ordinary fears. it could have many interpretations. but important is its simplicity. and the wise way to transform in a film who impress in deep sense. because it has the art to become yours story. a warning. a trip in memories and black utopia. to remind the vulnerability front to technique. or to remind the stereotypes who are bones and muscles and skin of our lives. it is easy to define it as masterpiece. for reasons who are not from artistic area.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Interesting idea lost in execution

Author: Thomas ( from Berlin, Germany
12 July 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This short film received an Academy Award nomination 15 years ago and it's certainly an interesting piece of movie-making. What happens if a copying machine does not multiply the paper, but the person who inserts it. The result is quickly a world full of Johannes Silberschneiders. I like him as an actor, but I believe that this was not the right role for him. This film would have needed a more comedic approach from the lead actor, so it fits in tone with the soundtrack and action. Of, course, they also could have done it as a horror movie, but then they should have changed the entire script. It's black-and-white and an Austrian production, but there is no dialog in here, so you don't need to understand German. The writer and director is Virgil Widrich and he is still shooting short films these days. I wonder if he is ever going to get (back) into full feature films. If yes, I just hope they turn out better than his work here. But it proves again that, regardless of the execution and overall outcome, often a great idea is already enough to score with the Academy. Not recommended and it already began to drag although it's only 11 minutes long.

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8 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

One of the best short movies ever! A very clever idea!

Author: Raph JULLIEN from France
23 February 2002

I've never seen any Austrian movie before and I would have thanked God to have made me tape this short movie if I believed in God!!! This is an excellent experimental movie which develops a very interesting idea and clever new technics which consist in animating photocopies of pictures. Moreover Virgil Widrich wrote the right story to stick with the technics. And the result is amazing: the aesthetics are very good and the special effects well-done. But it's not all: Zlamal's music is very moving and Johannes Silberschneider performs his several roles with majesty! At the end I felt very strange and wondered a lot of things but above all I thought about problems of cloning humans! Generally I thought about the dangers of homogeneity: can we become all fools?... But I won't tell you more because suspense is so important in cinema!

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