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Forever Never Anywhere

A film about three men trapped in a car better have characters interesting enough to sustain itself, but Antonin Svoboda's "Forever Never Anywhere" throws together guys whose foibles range only from mildly amusing to outright annoying. Occasional clever ideas, and some genuinely funny moments, help pass the time, but this is basically a one-trick pony that would be eminently more satisfying as a short.

With:
With: Christoph Grissemann, Dirk Stermann, Heinz Strunk, Philip Bialkowski, Markus Schleinzer, Markus Hering, Silke Jandl, Marion Dimali, Alexander Rieder, Eva Maria Neubauer, Gabriele Heckel.

A film about three men trapped in a car better have characters interesting enough to sustain itself, but Antonin Svoboda’s “Forever Never Anywhere” throws together guys whose foibles range only from mildly amusing to outright annoying. Occasional clever ideas, and some genuinely funny moments, help pass the time, but this is basically a one-trick pony that would be eminently more satisfying as a short. Austrian stereotypes and in-jokes will play well at home on March release, with probable Euro cable to follow.

Straightlaced archeologist Rafael (Dirk Stermann) and uptight brother-in-law Manfred (Christoph Grissemann) are driving back from a country do when they pick up stranded German performer Berni Schwanenmeister (Heinz Strunk). While swerving to avoid a jogger, their car veers off into a ravine and gets wedged between trees, making it impossible to open. Sadistic pre-teen Toni (Philip Bialkowski) decides to make them part of a behavioral research experiment, alternately depriving them of light and food to gauge their reactions (imagine a young Lars von Trier). Svoboda, co-founder of dynamic production house Coop 99, scripted by cast members, possibly accounting for the directionless middle. Accomplished lensing doesn’t overdo claustrophobic elements.

Forever Never Anywhere

Austria

Production: A Filmladen release (in Austria) of a Coop 99 Film production. Produced by Antonin Svoboda, Martin Gschlacht, Jessica Hausner, Barbara Albert. Directed by Antonin Svoboda. Screenplay by Svoboda, Christoph Grissemann, Dirk Stermann, Heinz Strunk, Joerg Kalt.

Crew: Camera (color, DV-to-35mm), Martin Gschlacht; editor, Oliver Neumann; production, costume designer, Katharina Woeppermann; line producer, Bruno Wagner. Reviewed at Rotterdam Film Festival (Cinema of the Future), Jan. 25, 2007 (Also in Berlin Film Festival -- market). Original title: Immer nie am Meer. Running time: 89 MIN.

With: With: Christoph Grissemann, Dirk Stermann, Heinz Strunk, Philip Bialkowski, Markus Schleinzer, Markus Hering, Silke Jandl, Marion Dimali, Alexander Rieder, Eva Maria Neubauer, Gabriele Heckel.

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