dir. daniel nettheim
scr. anthony o'connor
str. sam lewis, jessica napier, justin smith and abi tucker

Angst is a new Australian film detailing a few days and nights in the lives of a handful of young Sydneysiders. They fall in and out of love. They laugh together. They cry apart. Some weird shit goes down. Dreams are fulfilled. Illusions are shattered. Everything ends quite well. It's a typically edgy and post-cynical view of youth culture that flirts with the videoclip ethic without buying the cow wholesale, and for that it should be heartily applauded. It's not Cut. It's a nice piece of work, and I must say that I enjoyed it thoroughly. And with that sentiment I officially end the plot description and move on to weightier issues and private concerns.

I'm glad that I enjoyed this film, because I imagine I'll as close to a target audience as this film has, getting down to lifestyle specifics and the like. Horror movie fan? Check. Once worked in a video store? Check. Bits ?? Pieces lovelife? Check. A yearning for pale women with ass?? Check. A love-hate relationship with the suburbs? Check. A penchant for it? not really me but I'm still far from a happy camper black clothing? Check. If I didn't like this film, or at least connect with it in a hey that's me? kinda way, it would be a little unnerving. As a matter of fact, there's a lot of that type of easy recognition available in Angst for the lazy Sydneysider who secretly digs this glorified yuppie watering hole cum pokie capital of Australia. Hey, I've caught a train from there! I've walked that neon strip in semi-depression! I know someone just like that!

Now you could put this sort of easy one-two cinema identification down as the stupidest form of solipsism known to man, but I'll lie if I didn't admit to getting a kick out of seeing the shining griminess finally painted on film for the kid in me to see. Let's call it a tendency of the film student. You're on and off buses all day, taking visual snatches of the city momentarily while trying to get through this or that book, twirling in Hyde Park with your tolerated one, looking to the skies and pretentiously observing the cold charm of this skyscraper universe. It's only natural that you'll suddenly want to put all these fragments and self-conscious shards of poetry into a film and call the city your own, stake a claim to Kings Cross the way Woody owns New York. Hey, you put us on the map! We can't thank you enough for that!

So, take it easy, catch Angst on one rebound or the next and then get yourself a good coffee or four. It looks like it might be a good year after all. Maybe.

Adam Rivett
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