|Release Date:||January 22, 1999|
|Running time:||82 minutes|
|Cast:||Anne Lobst, Erik Kraus, Carol Schneider, Anna Kohler|
|Producer:||Chris Hoover, Ben Speth|
Description: Dresden is an examination of the world told through pictures and sounds randomly overlapping one another. A narrative story unfolds within the context of the film but is embedded in divergent scenes of New York City and occasionally unrelated soundscapes that mesmerize the viewer. Writer/director Ben Speth creates the character of Alex to use as his subject in this study of random happenings called life. The story follows Alex, a thirty-eight-year-old dancer, as she goes through the motions of her day--drinks with a girlfriend, fighting with her boyfriend, dance rehearsal, infidelity--and effectively shows the discontent in her life. Anne Iobst plays Alex with such honesty and grace that you quickly forget that she is really a fictional character. Speth shows the events of Alex's day but does not go any further; thus, the end of the film is not the end of the story--life goes on. He successfully introduces experimentation and abstraction to the medium of motion pictures, which usually emphasizes control, structure, and complacency. Speth's many unconventional techniques leave a good portion of the interpretation of Alex up to the viewer. Long, static camera shots beautifully capture life happening around New York City: Chinese teenagers playing handball, a subway station during rush hour, a city park on a sunny day. The overall pace and uncertainty about what's around the corner make this film a pleasure to watch.
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