Afterschool (18)

Film

Afterschool_press_photo.jpg

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5
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Time Out says

Tue Aug 18 2009

Flaunting a sense of misanthropy that makes Michael Haneke look like Tex Avery, Antonio Campos’s chilling second feature (his follow-up to 2005’s girl-sells-virginity-on-eBay diversion, ‘Buy It Now’) is both admirably ambitious and repellent. It concerns YouTube-fixated prep school outcast Rob (newcomer Ezra Miller), who skulks between classes, assemblies, the lunchroom and his dorm, continually bullied by his peers.

While casually filming exposition shots for an AV club project, he accidentally captures the death of two well-liked twin girls as they overdose on tainted cocaine. He walks over and cradles one of them in his arms. You wonder, is he consoling her or choking her? Campos then contrasts Rob’s eerily nonchalant reaction to the tragedy with the hysterical mourning and after-the-fact anti-drugs campaigning around him.

Adopting the detached aesthetic of a homemade online video – right down to the needlessly elongated takes, muffled soundtrack, flickering autofocus and awkward angles (either very low or very high) – Campos cleverly shapes the action to mimic the stock characteristics of those kinds of clips. There are numerous lengthy scenes of kids socialising or filing down corridors that abruptly break out into violence, all of which looks as if they were filmed by a surveillance camera.

The film has a lot to say about the effect of technology on teenage interaction, how schools repress individuality and how sexual awakening causes, rather than relieves, teenage angst.  It comes unstuck when, like Haneke’s ‘Benny’s Video’, it demands that we naively accept that video imagery can provoke copycat antisocial behaviour from the viewer. The remainder of the film is brave, intelligent and disconcerting, but this doesn’t wash.
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Release details

Rated:

18

UK release:

Fri Aug 21, 2009

Duration:

107 mins

Cast and crew

Director:

Antonio Campos

Screenwriter:

Antonio Campos

Cast:

Ezra Miller, Lynn Cohen, Addison Timlin

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

5 / 5

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LiveReviews|5
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Jaspy

Pretentious beyone belief and incredibly dull. I can only assume that the viewers' experience of boredom and alienation from the film is supposed to somehow mirror the pupils' alienation from ... well, everything. Or something. It doesn't work. At all. One that critics will love and viewers will hate. Oh and the poor sound and terrible framing, clearly meant to echo both the central character's new-found filming 'skills' and YouTube-style clips that he is 'addicted' to, pall's after about ten minutes. Dreadful, just dreadful. Thank god this is the director's first fil and he is 'only' 25: he's not polluuted the world with any more of his pretentious 'vision' and has plenty of time left to find out what he's actually good at. It isn't film.

G

How twitchy people get with films! I have seen many worse films and the viewer fb would have you think that Campos is the anti-christ or something. Oh I will absolutely have the name os Haneke and Campos in the same breath thank you; I am no film critic and have very commercial taste, and I found Afterschool stylish, thought-provoking and utterly appropriate. I'm guessing that viewer fb has never been bothered by the way the youtube generation can behave and is behaving.

G

How twitchy people get with films! I have seen many worse films and the viewer fb would have you think that Campos is the anti-christ or something. Oh I will absolutely have the name os Haneke and Campos in the same breath thank you; I am no film critic and have very commercial taste, and I found Afterschool stylish, thought-provoking and utterly appropriate. I'm guessing that viewer fb has never been bothered by the way the youtube generation can behave and is behaving.

Schipper

I agree with the reviewer, certainly one of the most impressive films in this year's festival and one of the best feature debuts in a long time. It beautifully, though painfully, portrays and highlights some of the problems facing our generation. Like Campos' other (shorter) films, it is intense, very interesting, and not one to miss.

Schipper

I agree with the reviewer, certainly one of the most impressive films in this year's festival and one of the best feature debuts in a long time. It beautifully, though painfully, portrays and highlights some of the problems facing our generation. Like Campos' other (shorter) films, it is intense, very interesting, and not one to miss.