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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Empty but with a meaning!

7/10
Author: mario_c from Porto, Portugal
15 January 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A group of German teenagers came to Alentejo (a region of Portugal that is characterized by its plane ground and emptiness, especially because it's a region with a very low rate of population) integrated in an experimental project of social re-education. One of them is Katrin, a young girl that seem to be lost in this new land, where there is nothing to do except smoke some cigarettes and dance techno music… She tries to establish some connections with this arid and empty land, but it's hard because everybody else seem to be emerged in this world of emptiness too!

I must say I had the privilege of have seen this movie in a small theatre with a small group of people where were integrated the director and two other persons of the production, who, after the film has ended, explained to the audience their purposes doing this film. Then there was a small debate between the audience and the film's producers. It was very interesting because it helped me (and certainly the other members of the audience too) to understand, by the voice of the own makers of the movie, what was the message they wanted to transmit to the general public… and the first words were very interesting: "This film is made of emptiness, as the land where it is passed, the characters are purposely empty to transmit that there is no time or space characterized…It's all done in an ambiguous space and time, because there isn't a linear story telling, there isn't even a plot, but just a complex puzzle of pieces of scenes which can be changed from the end to the beginning, to the middle…The film is made in a kind of a spiral form…". It was more or less what they said, and I agree with them!

The movie really creates a sensation of crudeness and emptiness in the viewer, which are transmitted especially by the characters, the scenarios, the music and the few dialogues (a great part of the film has no dialogs… many expressions and feelings are just transmitted by the body… corporal language…). But there are feelings, mixed with that emptiness, there are desires, there are hopes, even if they seem to be lost sometimes…

About other details, the film causes a special impact with some musical scenes… Especially those when the strong beat of the "Raves" crush the stereo speakers! Its impact it's even bigger when it passes from a calm scene, with almost no sounds, to an intense and loud techno music scene, or vice-versa. It has a strong visual and audio impact! By the way, the entire soundtrack is excellent mixing some punk-rock sounds of the eighties (especially from German bands), with techno music or even the industrial sounds of Einsturzende Neubauten.

It really was a different film. It has something new, a new language, or at least it tries to do so… but I guess it can reach its purposes, if not all of them, many are fulfilled. On the other hand, I must say that the discussion with the producers was also a new and pleasant experience, because it's not everyday that we can personally hear the director speaking about his own film. How I wish I could do it someday with David Lynch!

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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

one (really good) Portuguese movie

10/10
Author: pedro_bdea from Portugal
24 June 2007

I saw this movie by chance and I was very positively surprised. It felt so good to see a movie without moral statements and stupidly complicated stories. It was a piece of reality, so simple it seemed I could also be there.

There are some moments of pure genius with a perfect synchrony between amazing images of Alentejo's landscape and a soundtrack that blows up our minds.

I believe it couldn't be said more with such few words. This movie is a masterwork with a very contemporary characterization of both Germany and Portugal. Youth with no objectives and transnational places blend together in Body Rice.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Hard to endure

3/10
Author: dominiq from Mexico City, Mexico
5 March 2007

Saw this movie at the FICCO festival in Mexico City and I guess this movie would not make it to the cinemas in general...It is difficult to endure the movie, due to its subject and slow, boring atmosphere (some people left the cinema, others fell asleep). If they wanted to show the apathy of these youngsters, they really made the point. There was some good acting, but do not expect any explanation of why these people are in that place (supposedly it's a social project), why they are such losers and what there future will be. Do only watch this movie if you are interested in apathy/doing nothing in your life and maybe tecno music (or if you were a similar loser in the past?). Sorry, but this is just a 3.

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

The spoiler is the film

2/10
Author: mdarb-2 from United States
19 January 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I saw this 'film' at the 23 Filmtage des Mittelmeers in Heidelberg, Germany recently and was blown away. I truly enjoy independent cinema and keep an open mind in trying to understand and appreciate many different styles of film. That being said, this was unequivocally the worst 'film' I have ever seen. My girlfriend wanted to leave after 30 minutes, but I insisted we stay (unlike the other 25% of the audience that left) to give it a chance. In the end, that's 120 minutes I'll never get back.

After seeing the 'film' I read some reviews on this site to see if I maybe just missed the point. As one reviewer raved, there is a "central theme of ABSENCE." OK, however in this absence there needs to be something (e.g. characters, cinematography) to fill this void. In other words, give me something that makes me want to watch. But, as other reviewers suggest, the emptiness is the point. Is this really so profound? Do I need to sit through two hours of patchwork silence, techno zombie dancing and contrived camera angles to understand the depth of suffering in the world? I'll just turn on the news, thank you.

And although I can't fathom anybody gleaning any pleasure or artistic merit from this 'film,' I guess that's the great thing about art, and it's interesting to see the varying reviews here. For accomplishing this feat, and this feat only, I give it a 2. Just don't call it a 'film' or a 'movie,' because you're doing a grave disservice to the likes of 'Ishtar' when you do so.

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8 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

The first day of the story of Portuguese cinema... .

10/10
Author: desires1000 from Portugal
20 January 2007

It would not be too much to affirm that BODY RICE means something new in Portuguese cinema: The restitution to a "zone" physical and metaphorical, were language can be re-invented. In my opinion just a few films in last years affirmed such a strong vision of cinema. This film captures a moment of our time, and what it is more important has found the right form to tell it. If it would have to be found the Portuguese film which more truly tells us about the end of the XX century is BODY RICE. Its central theme of ABSENCE (from the theme to the form of the film), and the reformulation (rethink)of space and time, the end of nostalgia, re-thinking of narrative would be enough to be "a" central object in cinema nowadays. Plus one of the most exciting sound work I heard make it very special. I found also many analogies with contemporary video work, something which comes in the language of time for observation. I would recommend it to everybody really interested in art, media and contemporary film

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3 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

You should see this movie.

Author: Jorge Coveiro from Portugal
16 April 2007

I think this movie is awesome. It reflects the multi-cultural side from drugs in Portugal. For people who never passed inside this lifestyle or have been drugged for along time it must be boring or annoying. But for people that lived this experience it reflects the pure truth of what happens when we enter in a world of peace, pure pleasure, satisfaction and beauty. But not everything is beautiful as it seems. -------------- ---------------- -------------- ------------ --------------- ----------- -------------- ------------- ------------- -------------- ------------ -------------- --------------- ------------- ------------ ------------ -------------- ------------- ------------ ---------- ---------- ------------ ------------

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6 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

Too bad to be true

1/10
Author: rui-franco from Portugal
3 February 2007

Too bad to be true. I simply gave up watching it after 30 minutes of suffering.

It was one of the worst movies I've ever seen.

Portuguese cinema has this curse of pseudo-intellectuals who keep pushing their "vision" of what cinema should be onto others. They're wrong and it's not just because they do bad movies, it's because you can do bad movies and still make something that can be enjoyable. Not our directors! They hold the holy grail of truth and they think that "bright" ideas should only be presented to the audience in the most boring way you can imagine.

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