Saturday, June 22, 2019
Aren't You Happy? Screening at Edinburgh International Film Festival
Writer-director Susanne Heinrich’s first feature length film is a cinematically interesting exploration of life, love and gender relations for today's young woman.
A nameless and melancholy young woman (Marie Rathscheck) is a writer with writing issues (she's got no further than the first line of the second chapter of her novel). She searches for meaning to life and a bed for the night while waiting for the end of capitalism. She meets various men, none of whom she allows to mean anything to her. She visits art galleries and philosophises about beauty, feminism and consumerism.
The film is very stylised (reminding in this particular though not in others of Fassbinder's Fear Eats the Soul) and almost static, broken down into self consciously announced episodes. Everything takes place in a very distinctive colour palette dominated by pink and blue.
Then suddenly in the middle there's a wonderful animated music video then we're back to the same clever and contrived format as before.
There are moments of humour here and some ideas worth thinking about but mostly it's melancholy and feels as though it should be more entertaining than it is.
Aren't You Happy? is nominated for the 2019 Award for Best International Feature Film.
Aren't You Happy screens at the Edinburgh International Film Festival at 2020 Monday 24 June and 2040 Wednesday 26 June both at Vue Omni Centre. You can book tickets here.
You can read my earlier reviews from Edinburgh International Film Festival 2019, by following the links below:
Boyz in the Wood a group of teenage boys get lost in the Scottish Highlands.
2040 - can technology offer solutions to our current climate and ecological crises?
Bait - Cornish fishermen try to adapt to a changing world
How to Fake a War what happens when a rock star decides to meddle in international affairs?
Farm Animals on Film - featuring The Biggest Little Farm - an inspiring story of the creation of a sustainable biodiverse farm in California, plus Vulture, an experimental film about farm animals.
Virgin and Extra: Land of the Olive Oil.
Chef Diaries: Scotland - Spanish chefs the Roca brothers take the viewer on a culinary road trip round Scotland.
Up the Mountain - a year in an artists' studio in the Chinese mountains.
The Amber Light - a cinematic ode to Scotland's national drink
Disclaimer: I have a press pass for the film festival and attended a free press screening of these films.