THE IMPERIALISTS ARE STILL ALIVE! (2011)
Running Time: 90 mins. Rating: 1 Star/5 Stars
MPAA Rating: NR
Director: Zeina Durra
Distributor: IFC Films
Cast: Elodie Bouchez, Jose Maria de Tavira, Karim Saleh, Karolina Muller, Marianna Kulukundis, Rita Ackerman, Pierluca Arancio, Sophie Auster, Coati Mundi, Zelda Kaplan, Whit Stillman
THE IMPERIALISTS ARE STILL ALIVE! should be put up against a wall and shot. The creative team should be renditioned back to Filmmaking 101 for purgatory. It’s another film about the international trustfund set of artistes and bored offspring of business class elites who like to be play at being liberal and “freedom fighters” (see 1970’s terrorist chic) while daddy pays their rent and bar tabs.
A hybrid Jordanian/Lebanese/Palestinian/Bosnian/French (whew, that’s a pretentious mouthful) “conceptual artist” traipses around downtown afterhours clubs, hoity toity fashionista benefits, art openings and dreadful modern dance performances with her vacuous friends and new found lover fretting about her childhood sweetheart who may or may not have been abducted by the CIA and shipped off to some indeterminate Middle Eastern prison (think Saudi Arabia) for terrorist activity confirmation. Conveniently, it all occurs at a time when the Israelis finally decide that Hezbollah needs to get spanked for lobbing missiles indiscriminately over the border from Lebanon – and, her brother is stranded there. I’d think it was a soap opera but it had all the mumblecore trappings of non-existent lighting and acting.
One of the only things worth recommending about this film is Coati Mundi’s hilarious scenery chewing performance. If you’ve ever seen Ettore Scola’s non-dialogue LE BAL, imagine Dali as the mint guy and you’ll get what I mean. For those unfamiliar with Coati, listen to some of Kid Creole & The Coconuts of which he was co-leader and music director.
If you like this recommendations: Metropolitan, Blue In The Face, Four Rooms