Sylvester Countdown

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The film begins with the hero doing a frantic lone dance wearing nothing but a Native American headdress, and ends with him masturbating in front of his girlfriend’s photo. This concise image of his insecure and obsessively sexual character also depicts the isolating quality of the couple’s life together, consisting solely of sex and quarrels. On a New Year’s Eve trip to Warsaw, they close in ever more destructively on each other. Roehler skilfully plays up the bleak pathos of these egotists’ self-made hell by showing them getting lost in a city which is itself hostile: a grey, icy place where taxi drivers cheat them or get lost, and a strip joint offers a frightening parody of their relationship. Restless camerawork heightens the sense that even when partying or travelling, they’re going nowhere.

By: SB

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