DENNIS SCHWARTZ Movie Reviews

ABOVE AND BELOW (director/writer: Nicolas Steiner; cinematographer: Markus Nestroy; editor: Kaya Inan; music: John Gurtler, Jan Miserre, Lars Voges; cast: Edward “Lalo the Godfather” Cardenas, Cynthia “Cindy” Goodwin, Richard “Rick” F. Ethredge, April Davis, David “Dave” B. Reesey; Runtime: 119; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Brigitte Hofer, Cornelia Seitler, Helge Albers; Oscilloscope Laboratories; 2015-Switzerland/Germany/USA-in English)

"Less than impressive film."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Swiss filmmaker Nicolas Steiner ("Battle of the Queens") offers a non-traditional non-linear documentary studying marginal folks in their attempt to make it as exiles. It studies five Americans living on the edge. Cindy and Rick are lovers fighting an addiction, who are living in the drainage tunnels beneath Las Vegas. After a failed marriage Dave, a vet and musician, resides alone in the California desert, where he takes shelter in an Inland Empire concrete bunker that's run on solar power. And lastly there is April. She's, a volunteer participant in the Mars Desert Research Station project at their Utah facility, where she does dry runs for a possible Mars mission. Of the five subjects, April is the most stable.

Steiner's film hopes to show links between his unusual self-sufficient subjects and their almost impossible dreams. The film's main delights is in observing how nature is strikingly evoked for the escapists.

If the viewer finds the lifestyles of these fringe  dwellers worth a look at, one can assume they will also like this less than impressive film.

REVIEWED ON 12/19/2016       GRADE: B-

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

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