I love David and Nathan Zellner's 2008 Sundance feature Goliath -- and they've done a lot of other cool things, too. Check out the first episode of their insanely trippy online series F I D D L E S-T-I-X-X above.
These guys don't make movies in accordance with natural laws. They're less concerned with conventional rules of storytelling than with figuring out how to defy them. Their first feature, Goliath, brilliantly expands on the lunatic tendencies set forth in their shorts, and yet it's not pure farce. The movie has a fully developed character, sincere emotional value, and feels like it exists in the real world. The Zellners combine a YouTube-like preference for irreverent sketch comedy with an authentic understanding of human behavior, which makes them ideal representations of twenty-first century indie filmmaking. Here's my take on Goliath, which hit DVD this week, for GreenCine Daily:
David and Nathan Zellner's Goliath is a passionate ode to old ties and new beginnings, steeped in metaphor, strangely evocative, yet hilariously deranged. The Austin-based sibling filmmakers seemingly know the tropes of mainstream comedy and work against them. A plot synopsis tells you almost nothing: Though essentially the story of one man's ties to his cat, the movie operates on a singularly bizarre narrative plain based around the ramifications of becoming a social pariah. It moves along in fragments of scenes, sudden outbursts and extended pauses. A climactic sequence involves as much emotional finality as it does absurdity and mayhem. In the final minutes, it's like a Looney Tunes cartoon came to life, invaded suburbia and absorbed its discontents. In other words, Goliath is purely unique cinema.
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