Thehas programming of the Champs-Elysées Film Festival has the merit to stir up broad within the independent film american. After two documentaries (Cartel Land and Welcome to Leith), a comedy-drama of consensus (The Road Within) and one which is significantly less (Nasty Baby), here is presented a film that is unclassifiable : STINKING HEAVEN.

In a house in the New Jersey is home to a community of former drug addicts of all ages, animated by the desire to stay clean. Governed by strict rules and a permanent sharing moments of life, this community supports a certain harmony. However, the arrival of Ann, the ex-girlfriend of another member, will upset this balance and reveal the reality that lurks behind this ” paradise “.

Directed by Nathan Silver, whose young career is already full of five feature-length films, STINKING HEAVEN can be seen immediately by adopting the artistic choices very strong. The desire here is to produce, and even reproduce, a documentary about a community in fictional. It will thus be characterized by a very ” ugly “, touring with a camera of the’ 70s, bidouillée to be transformed into a digital one, giving colors, very bland and a variable quality. The choice is also made of a frame format to be very tight, to highlight the faces on which the camera continues to focus.

A film that is so aesthetically singular. The uniqueness of the film does not stop, however, not there : STINKING HEAVEN is a real organized chaos. Turned very quickly and without a script, the film is a fiction, improvised, and filmed almost spontaneously, always with the desire to approach the documentary. As a viewer, it can hardly be that holding on to the title of the film (” paradise stinky “, literal translation rather ugly) to understand the objective of the filmmaker. During the viewing we ask more question on what we see, on what there is to see, thus creating a distance permanent and unpleasant with the film.

Nathan Silver is dedicated to trace the decomposition of this micro-community, by revealing and emphasizing the defects of each of the individuals, in this alleged haven of peace which is much more ugly that the company that the community is trying to flee. However, it is difficult to commit emotionally to the characters, partly because of the photography giving the impression of watching an old VHS made by your great uncle ; and, secondly, because the characters are fairly unpleasant, and sometimes very hateful.

“Intriguing and unique in its artistic choices, the film was the final bit of interest.”

The approach recall that the very large Larry Clark with Kids or Ken Park, by this way to keep track of his different characters such as a docu-fiction. But here lacks the energy and emotion clean to the films of Clark, constituting not only an experience but above all a big slap in the face for the viewer. In STINKING HEAVEN the involvement of the author does not feel, does appear not. The film, although intriguing, seems devoid of regard wider than its history, and thus lack of interest.

STINKING HEAVEN is a part of this movie with which I have usually no problems, but here the film is locked in its choice, and Nathan Silver’s book, then a film is different only for its difference. The film would have earned to be open about it, and thus bear a reflection on communitarianism, the company or individual for example. It follows that STINKING HEAVEN is intriguing and unique in its artistic choices, but it hides a distinct lack of interest and background.

STINKING HEAVEN is presented in competition at the Champs-Élysées film Festival edition 2015.






– Nrc and of the cffs 2015 : programming

– Nrc and of the cffs 2015 : the films in competition

Original title : Stinking Heaven

Achievement : Nathan Silver

Scenario : Nathan Silver, Jack Dunphy

Main actors : Deragh Campbell, Eleonore Hendricks, Henri Douvry, Hannah Gross

Country of origin : United States

Output : coming soon

Duration : 1: 10

Distributor :

Synopsis : A young couple, Jim and Lucy (Keith Poulson, Derag Campbell), are the pioneers of a community that extols the benefits of an ascetic life in a suburb of New Jersey. The members of the group feed, wash and all work together, while preparing the tea-healthy home-made’ that they sell in their van. Despite the disputes and the problems of individual, Jim and Lucy have managed to create a true haven of peace for this group of outsiders. A harmony that will be disrupted by the unexpected arrival of Ann (Hannah Gross), a former drug addict and ex-girlfriend of one of the members of the community. Its presence will result in members of the seizures, paranoia, relapse, and sometimes even death.

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