Movie Information

In Brief: There's this company called The Film Movement. It specializes in picking up art titles that played film festivals, but never managed to snag a U.S. distributor. Antares (2004) is one of them, and it's not hard to understand why this unrelentingly dour Austrian drama of marital infidelity had trouble finding that U.S. distributor. Really — apart from a large (and mostly tedious) dose of soft-core porn — all this slow-moving movie has going for it is an interesting structure where the film keeps coming back to a specific point in time before going off on another tangent. None of the characters can be described as likable. For that matter, their motivations are on the shaky side, too. But the structure is intriguing and the look at middle class life in a Vienna apartment complex makes for an unusual setting.
Genre: Drama
Director: Götz Spielmann
Starring: Petra Morze, Andrea Patton, Hary Prinz, Susanne Wuest, Denis Cubic, Andreas Kiendl
Rated: NR



Frankly, I really have nothing more to say about this Austrian angst fest. How you’ll feel about Antares is largely going to depend how much you either assume that movies with subtitles are automatically deep, have a fondness for stories about people sleeping around on each other, or are interested in vaguely kinky soft-core action. This is essentially just a story about a mid-30ish woman cheating on her rather dull husband with some not very attractive man (with a penchant for erotic photography) whose name she doesn’t know. Then there’s the clearly unbalanced young woman who is convinced her Croatian boyfriend is cheating on her. And guess what? He is. He’s keeping company with another woman, who just happens to have a psychotic ex-husband who won’t admit it’s over — and, it so happens, he hates Croatians. The first couple also have a daughter, who is clearly up to no good. Before it’s over, there’ll be a hostage situation, a suicide bid, a car crash, and the death of the least likable character of the lot.

Classic World Cinema by Courtyard Gallery will present Antares Friday, Jan. 16, at 8 p.m. at Phil Mechanic Studios, 109 Roberts St., River Arts District (upstairs in the Railroad Library).  Info: 273-3332,

About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress from December 2000 until his death in June 2016. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

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