Arthouse fare at its most uncompromising and pretentious, Antonio Dyaz's debut feature, "Off," contains 80 minutes of eye-catching images which add up to very little. DV-shot pic is an exercise in style which seeks to compensate for its unlikely plot and lack of on-screen dialogue with a fragmented display of digital effects.

Arthouse fare at its most uncompromising and pretentious, Antonio Dyaz’s debut feature, “Off,” contains 80 minutes of eye-catching images which add up to very little. DV-shot pic is an exercise in style which seeks to compensate for its unlikely plot and lack of on-screen dialogue with a fragmented display of digital effects. Fest sidebars are its likeliest home.

When painter Samantha Williams (Pepa Slas) receives a video showing her own murder, and a few fragments of card which she will spend the rest of pic building up into a coherent image, she starts to believe she is dead. After seeing shrink Dr. Fischer (Julian Hernandez), Samantha sets off on a bizarre tour of great artistic locations in cities including London, New York, Florence and Paris, eventually winding up in Tokyo and sleeping with Natsumi (Momoyo Miya). Slas’ reactions to the bizarre goings-on are flat at best, with her pretentiously written voiceover the only human voice in the picture. Electronic music is fine, but unfortunately more or less constant.

Off

Spain

Production

A Digital Virus Entertainment production, in association with Manuel Alonso Erausquin, Vendaval Producciones. (International sales: Digital Virus, Madrid.) Executive producers, Fernando Merinero, Antonio Dyaz. Directed, written, edited by Antonio Dyaz.

Crew

Camera (color, DV-to-35mm), Dyaz; music, Dyaz. Reviewed at Yelmo Cineplex Ideal, Madrid, May 26, 2002. Spanish dialogue. Running time: 81 MIN.

With

Pepa Slas, Momoyo Miya, Julian Hernandez, Fernando Merinero.

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