261.000 Danish kroners (appr. $45.000) is the amount that Morten Nøjgaard & Co. corrupted into an arch example of films that are so bad that it gets hilarious a kind of film I call negative classics. Næste skridt (Eng.: Next Step) is through and through a prototype of this genre of which it meets all the generic requirements.
Firstly, it bears the typical friction between intention and reception, which means that the film's intention fails extraordinarily in that the recipient completely loses belief in the suspension of disbelief. The intention is (I think!) to tell a story about five young people who're about to take the 'next step' in life, i.e. have kids, move in with each other, make up one's mind about career opportunities. But what happens is what is typical of negative classics: The film becomes a self ironic parody, but that is mind you without being the intention. This can be described with the next generic demand: involuntary self-caricaturist exchange of dialogue and within that accidental meta-fiction. The self-caricature evolves from the acting plainly being so bad that it seems like the actors are reading from the script. This leads to the fact that the film draws attention to itself: It becomes accidentally meta-fictional. It is extremely difficult to identify with the film; the viewer is forced out of the story since it is out of the question to stop laughing the film is as it is an unplanned comedy. Negative classics can usually be described as bad handling of a fine basic thesis, which actually also explains Næste skridt, even though it is quite hard to figure out the exact thesis. There are so many scenes and sequences that just don't make sense. In that sense, I can 'for all intents and purposes' recommend the film, because it is a film that meets every demand of a negative classic. It is just beautiful when it happens.
The director Morten Nørgaard has supplied the DVD with considerations about low budget films and the reflections are all in all poetic musings about the essence of negative classics. In reality, these are supposed to describe how to make a low budget film and how those kinds of films separate from larger productions. This leads Nørgaard to step by step go through a complete recitation of the standard Aristotelian Hollywood-model for a film and the only difference between low budget and large budget films that Nørgaard apparently can explicate is that large budgets have more money to make the film from. I'm so happy to finally have figured that out!!! Furthermore, Nørgaard attempts to explain how the creative process works and how one can be inspired. In that (through unmentioned citation of Thomas Edison) he claims that inspiration is only one percent of the overall hard work. He objects though that "there are people in the world that receives dozens of good ideas all day long", but he underlines that "that is not something that he is subject to". And let that be the poetical knot for this film: It is only one percent inspiration and 99 percent miserably film. Watch it, watch it, watch it!!! It's hilarious.
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