Review: ‘The Virgin’

Reviewed at Berlin Film Festival (Panorama), Feb. 13, 2000. (Also in Toronto Film Festival.) Running time: 92 MIN.

Reviewed at Berlin Film Festival (Panorama), Feb. 13, 2000. (Also in Toronto Film Festival.) Running time: 92 MIN.

With: Joey Kern, Kristy Hinchcliffe, Glenn Cruz.

(English dialogue)

Aimless, shapeless and virtually plotless, Diego Donnhofer’s “The Virgin” is a tediously affected road movie in which vacant posturing proves a poor substitute for acting, and existential adventurousness appears as exciting as leaf-blowing. Austrian-produced English-lingo drama is bound for well-deserved oblivion after a few stops on the global fest circuit.

Title refers to Konrad (Joey Kern), a sullen young hunk who drifts through various Eastern Mediterranean port cities with his glassy-eyed sister, Nina (Kristy Hinchcliffe), and his sometime lover, Ito (Glenn Cruz). Donnhofer’s approach to narrative coherence is, to put it charitably, casual. It takes awhile to understand that Konrad and Nina are siblings, and only gradually does it become clear that, even though he’s sporadically self-employed as thief, drug dealer and male prostitute, Konrad is meant to represent a vaguely romantic notion of unsullied innocence. Or something like that. Pic abounds in inadvertent humor. At one point, Konrad and Ito try to make a quick buck by getting Nina hired as a nightclub singer. Unfortunately, she’s too screechy and strung out. “People are afraid of her,” complains the club owner. They have every right to be.

The Virgin

(AUSTRIA)

Production

A Nanook Films production. (International sales: Austrian Film Commission.) Produced by Peter Roehsler. Directed, written by Diego Donnhofer.

Crew

Camera (color), Peter Roehsler; editor, Karina Ressler; music, John Cale; costume designer, Silvia Pernegger; sound (Dolby), Joe Knauer.
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