"Thrown out of her New York City apartment, Natalia, a 25-year-old hot mess, relies on the kindness of friends and strangers. Seemingly unaware of the havoc she wreaks, she skips from one ... See full summary »
I can somewhat understand the enthusiasm for Nathan Silver's Stinking Heaven, and his body of work in general, but I have to say it represents a trend in Cinema I wish would go away. In the specific case of SH, the performances, narrative, and at times camera work and editing, are pretty skillfully crafted. The film succeeds at evoking the early 90's time period, and does a reasonably good job of creating the drama of a sober living house. (At times things get a bit maudlinly over the top, enough yelling, screaming, and scenery chewing to make Tony Montana proud. To be fair, if you've ever spent time in or around sober living homes, it's not totally misplaced.) Nathan Silver clearly has some skill as a filmmaker. His first feature, The Blind, a very ambitious endeavor shot by a top notch DP, with strong actors, did not always work as a film. But it was certainly a glimpse of his potential. Made on a budget that would total almost all his films since, it certainly did not enjoy the festival or distribution success of his subsequent ouvre such as: Exit Elena, Soft in the Head, Uncertain Terms, and the best of the bunch Stinking Heaven. However, it had something these films lack imo, that is real ambition. Getting with the trend, still going after a decade plus, of the whole minimalist, mumblecore bowel movement each film deals in the microcosm of daily living mined by other auteurs like Joe Swanberg (completely devoid of talent other than sporting a classic Frankenstein, box style hair cut) and the Duplass Bros. I must say I think Mr. Silver is more talented Filmmaker than these guys but we won't get to see his real potential fully realized because he's found some validation following this trend.
While this film is certainly worthwhile, I'd like to see Nathan Silver do something a tad more dynamic, following up on the daring of his first feature rather coast on a tired, overwrought trend that has certainly run its course....
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