Forest | Chicago Reader

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Definitely not a film for those who like their is dotted and ts crossed. This first feature by Hungarian writer-director Benedek Fliegauf presents a series of seven enigmatic vignettes—disconnected, out-of-context conversational snatches, some nearly indecipherable, but all decidedly creepy and unsettling. One scene concerns a man trying to persuade an extremely annoyed woman to care for his dog so that he can go off and immolate himself. In another episode a husband goes into disquieting detail about his ten-year-old daughter's burgeoning sexuality, to his wife's despair and his eavesdropping daughter's fascination. A woman recounts a nightmare to her lover, segueing into a vehement defense of her beloved dead grandmother, whose sadistic punishments seem to have fueled the dream. Shot on DV, in claustrophobic handheld close-ups of brilliant nonprofessional actors, the film dips alternately into absurdity, humor, and dread. In Hungarian with subtitles. 90 min.

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