Review: ‘Everything Is Relative’

Ambitious experimental docu "Everything Is Relative," by young Danish helmer Mikala Krogh, explores her own theory of relativity by organizing new, archival and homemovie footage -- shot in Denmark, Mozambique, Japan, Dubai, the U.S. and Thailand -- into philosophical chapters such as "Love," "Loss," "Happiness, "Illness," "Time" and "Light."

Ambitious experimental docu “Everything Is Relative,” by young Danish helmer Mikala Krogh, explores her own theory of relativity by organizing new, archival and homemovie footage — shot in Denmark, Mozambique, Japan, Dubai, the U.S. and Thailand — into philosophical chapters such as “Love,” “Loss,” “Happiness, “Illness,” “Time” and “Light.” Edited for contrast without voiceover commentary or identifying didactics, provocative, intellectually challenging material will likely be off-putting to auds who prefer to be spoon-fed their subject matter. Specialty fests and Euro tube should constitute the pic’s best markets.

Some footage is disturbingly intimate, including a real-time, tight-focus childbirth scene from the Mozambique, the homevideo diary of a Danish woman undergoing breast cancer treatment, and closeups of a man and a woman making love in semi-darkened bedroom. More broadly engaging are the tales of love from around the world, with couples shot against the same backdrop. Slow pans over stylized, studio-lit tableaux illustrate each chapter heading in cheeky fashion, and each section also includes mock-serious musings from screenwriter Mogens Rukov, a legendary professor from the Danish Film School, often referred to as Dr. Dogme. Ace tech package smoothly incorporates an assortment of materials.

Everything Is Relative

Denmark

Production

A Tju-Bang Film 2 Aps production, in association with Angel Film, with the support of New Danish Screen. (International sales: SF Film Production, Copenhagen.) Produced by Christian Rank. Directed by Mikala Krogh. Screenplay, Mogens Rukov, Krogh.

Crew

Camera (color, DigiBeta), Manuel Alberto Claro, Adam Philp; editor, Theis Schmidt; music, Joachim Holbek; production designer, Rasmus Cold. Reviewed at Karlovy Vary Film Festival (competing), July 5, 2008. Original title: Alt er relativt. Danish, English, Japanese, Portuguese, Punjabi dialogue. Running time: 75 MIN.
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