Reel Affirmations 2006
Review by Sean Bugg
Rating: (2 out of 5)
Thursday, 10/19/2006, 9:00 PM
Feature presentation, $9 at Lincoln Theatre
German with English subtitles
POISON FROGS, world-wide conspiracies, ambitious journalists, missing fathers and a Russian circus are just some of the plot elements running willy-nilly through Whispering Moon, and it makes just about as much sense as you’d expect.
Jannis and Patrick are on a surreptitious surveillance mission of the circus, looking for evidence that the Russians are behind the poison-frog assassinations of local politicians. This story unfolds through Jannis’s brutal interrogation at the hands of mustachioed man. But little is as it seems, and reality is subject to the whims of the people who are telling — and creating — the story.
On its surface, Whispering Moon is a visual treat. As Jannis narrates his tale, he edits the events in real time as you watch, adding effects and characters and notations on the action. The clever use of color and effects, along with the irony-driven metafictional approach, keep the eye occupied.
The brain, however, doesn’t find nearly as much to do. However visually clever it may be, Whispering Moon‘s plot of double and triple-layered conspiracies, red herrings and young gay love can’t ignite any spark. It’s very, very tedious going, with so many detours and meanderings that you just can’t help checking your watch. It’s a film that, perhaps, would have played better as an extended short, which is what it would be without such discursions as intermittent ”film quizzes.”
Despite the appealing main characters and the enchanting graphics, there’s not much full about this Moon. — SB