The Loneliest Planet

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Brooklyn artist and filmmaker Julia Loktev (Day Night Day Night) follows soon-to-be-married couple Nica (Hani Furstenberg) and Alex (Gael Garcia Bernal) on an excruciating hike through the Eurasian wilderness—you'll lose stamina too. Loktev's aesthetic is annoyingly predetermined: The often-canted images, which seem to be struggling against gravity, all but screech in your ear that something bad is going to happen to these flightily adoring protagonists. There is indeed an incident around the halfway point that drives a wedge between the couple and pushes Nica closer to a mysterious local who acts as the couple's guide. But the minimalist melodrama that ensues is an ill-conceived mix of dorm-room feminism, Herzogian ecstatic truth and numbing Antonioni-esque ennui.—KU

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New York Film Festival 2011

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