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June 19, 2008




Reprise opened in limited release about a month ago. It's by a first-time Norwegian director and stars young actors unknown in the US, so it isn't going to draw any viewers from Kung Fu Panda, but it's one of the better movies I've seen so far this year.

It can be tricky to make a movie about young, idealistic artists prone to immaturity and mental illness, because these characters tend to be pretentious, self-indulgent, and irritating (see The Doors, The Basketball Diaries, Glitter.) Reprise follows two longtime friends in their early 20's whose young writing careers diverge when one becomes an instant success. I think it (mostly) succeeds because equal time is spent watching these guys and their group of friends talk about the Ramones and make fun of each other's porn collections as we hear them talk about Heidegger and the metaphors they use in their novels.

It's still can get tedious watching these moronic boys blather on about how smart/tortured they think they are, but that makes it more satisfying when they finally grow up. And makes you a little bit glad you're not 23 anymore.

Since I always think about movies I like in terms of other movies I like, here are a few comparisons:

There are a fantastic couple of scenes that use the same kind of fragmented approach as the central hotel bar/hotel room seduction scene in Out of Sight, skipping around between a few times and places to show how a long encounter unfolds.

The super-condensed fast-forwarding of the characters' lives, like in Run Lola Run. We see a few different possibilities of what could happen to the guys in Reprise, but I especially like the uncertainty in this movie about what really happens to them and what they imagine might happen.

The rapid back-and-forth between cerebral musings about the nature of life, love, poetry, etc., and raucous punk concerts and crazy party scenes, like in 24 Hour Party People. Also, Reprise should win some special award for Most Ecstatic Use of Le Tigre in a Feature Film Soundtrack.

Here's the review by Manohla Dargis, who loves it, and by Roger Ebert, who thought it was OK but flawed.

categories: Movies
posted by amy at 3:34 PM | #

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