The sort of Euro production that insists on lapsing into ill-advised English, “Dead Man’s Memories” is a dour, sluggish whodunit that doesn’t deliver the goods. Pic may flesh out some fest slates and get tube play, but subsequently won’t linger in the mind.
As mysterious Viennese music student Alice (prolific Sylvie Testud, from “Beyond Silence” and “I’m Going Home”) wanders furtively around Lisbon, divorced and jaded detective Pinto (Miguel Guilherme) is interrupted from having sweets with his daughter on a beach west of town by the appearance of the body of dead archeologist Hans (Klaus Pohl). During a series of interrogations involving some cryptic camcorder footage, an elaborate scheme gradually unravels. Helmer Markus Heltschl is clearly in search of a weary, hardboiled, existential vibe, and for awhile pic unfolds with provocative moodiness. But the moment Pinto and Alice shift into English, such howlers as “I must have been fallen asleep” and “throw him down cliff” instantly dissipate the mood. Tech credits are OK; Karlovy Vary documentation claims pic was shot in accordance with Dogme 95 rules, but it clearly wasn’t.