Angst, more angst and lashings of boredom are all that the listless intellectuals of arty German pic “Afternoon” can find to occupy themselves at a summer resort. Helmer Angela Schanelec (“Passing Summer, “Marseilles”) strains for a mix of cinematic trickster Godard at his most humorless and existentialist Antonioni, but dilemmas are either too trivial or too remote to engage. Brave fests looking to test their auds may want to look.
Nineteen-year-old Agnes (Miriam Horwitz) returns to the summer house where she grew up to find that Konstantin (Jirka Zett), the boy she still loves, has become a self-obsessed writer. Given that his mother (helmer Schanelec), is a narcissistic actress and his dying uncle (Fritz Schediwy) cares little for anyone else, Konstantin is in good company. Extended takes often have characters talking to unseen offscreen companions, and relationships among all participants have to be slowly deduced from sporadic clues. With real-time pacing and frequent dialogue about how bored the characters are, helmer seems to be daring auds to walk out; at sesh caught, many felt free to take the challenge. Exquisite lensing and solid tech credits are wasted.