What To Do In Case of Fire? tells the humorous and touching story of six former creative anarchists who lived as house squatters in Berlin during its heyday in the 80s when Berlin was still... See full summary »
Set sometime in the future-present Homotopia chronicles a group of radical queer's dedicated to exposing the trouble with gay marriage, dismantling the State, undoing Empire, while looking ... See full summary »
Willful young Jennifer Cassi travels to South America to claim the inheritance of her recently deceased twin sister Johanna's house. While there Jennifer must contend with her eccentric ... See full summary »
A colorful and provocative survey of anarchism in America, the film attempts to dispel popular misconceptions and trace the historical development of the movement. The film explores the ... See full summary »
Packard Schmidt is a burnt-out, middle-aged college English professor. In a desperate attempt to restore some sense of vitality to his lonely existence he embarks on a series of impulsive ... See full summary »
"The Anarchist's Wife" is the story of Manuela who is left behind when her husband Justo fights for his ideals against Franco's Nationalists during the Spanish Civil War. He is deported to ... See full summary »
Juan Diego Botto,
I worry about movies that use narration over the film once it's started, and The Anarchist Cookbook did just that. However, once it established the setting and helped the audience come up to speed, the film flowed along nicely (meandering at points but puntucated in the "right spots" with flurries of activity) all the while making good use of real-sounding dialog (in parts it echoed actual conversations I've had). I'm not convinced this film is that impressively written, but it presents situations which challenge the characters and the audience to weigh their feelings on some pretty difficult issues in life: not just Anarchy and Nihilism, but friendship, responsiblity and developing as a person.
While most characters as archetypes are joyfully over the top, Johnny Red: the hippie throw-back, Karla: the earnest slut, and Double D: the loveable doofus, you can identify with them because of the situations they find themselves in. In many of the scenes you end up wondering, "Oh crap, what would I do then?"
This Anarchist Cookbook is a well thought out film. All too often you'll find films which leave something hanging, resolve it, then find something new to leave hanging only to resolve later and repeat the process. Then there's films which leave everything hanging and tie (or attempt to tie) it all together at the end. Watching the Anarchist's Cookbook I saw things left hanging all the time, I had to wonder if something mattered at all, and the movie tied up loose ends at it's own pace all throughout. It started out simple (with narration is about as simple as you can start - they even employ the dictionary a couple times) and braided itself together, occasionally ripping itself apart a bit, only to weave back together later. Throughout the whole film, things are being resolved, left open, and brought back up. There are revelations of varying degrees in every scene that left me wondering, where are they going to go after this - like life, this film is quite willing to keep moving, with or without you coming along. Not that you can't catch up later.
There's an incredibly fun scene in a coffee shop: the pacing of this particular scene is one of the flurry moments I mentioned. It's a well filmed scene (you didn't think the mess on a coffee bar could make for some interesting footage?), it's well timed, and the actors really show their chemistry. At that point the main character, Puck, his best friend Double D, and the audience could use a jovial moment - what's more jovial then running amuck behind the espresso bar?
The movie can't really be called a comedy (though it is very funny) and it can't really be called a drama (but there is plenty of that). Even in the serious moments, as the characters make choices that would, in many other films be the "one big choice" of the film. The Anarchist's Cookbook seems doesn't seem terribly concerned about making one big statement, instead, after establishing the characters, pushes them into a situation and tests their reaction. Sometimes it's their lack of reaction that makes the point
Go see this film. You'll leave wondering why it can be so easy to follow, so hard to lead, so easy to lose sight of what you believe in, and so worth it to find it again.
8 of 15 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?