'Club Zero': a chilly and insipid story about anorexia | Culture | EUROtoday

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With a tone of surreal black comedy that by no means fairly gels, the Austrian Jessica Hausner proposes in Club Zero an ethical story Pied Piper of Hamelin on consuming problems in adolescents. The plot is ready in a yellow-uniformed non-public college the place a bunch of schoolchildren from rich households join a brand new exercise, a course on “conscious eating” taught by a guru of the ever present well-being development, what they now name wellnesswhose recipes for “eating well” result in a path of no return.

It is attention-grabbing how Hausner detects each within the habits of some mother and father and within the instructional system itself the underlying errors that result in the obsessive rejection of meals within the adolescents of the story. But Club Zero —though it has the benefit of addressing a problem as horrible and complicated as anorexia— stagnates within the center and the concept of ​​a privileged membership with sect overtones that brainwashes the youngest with complicated and deceitful slogans, doesn’t fairly perform, neither as a black comedy, nor as an academic dystopia, nor as a supposed metaphor for a society that generates the sort of pathologies within the title of a pseudoscience that takes private salvation to the purpose of meaninglessness.

Mia Wasikowska, in 'Club Zero'.
Mia Wasikowska, in 'Club Zero'.

In his criticism of the poor digestion of points reminiscent of mindfulness, the salvation of the planet, the care of the physique or bodily management and self-discipline, Hausner places ridiculous features in the identical bag together with different related ones as in the event that they have been the identical and all this, whereas presenting his characters as enlightened and sick robots.

The director's chilly gaze is anchored in the usage of shade, as occurred in her earlier movies reminiscent of Little Joe (2019). An aesthetic that overlaps with an ironic cynicism that’s enticing for a second, however finally ends up being boring because of its repetitiveness, in addition to being ungenerous with its characters. Without leaving the loop of these quite common slogans (obsession with substances, dietary purity added to the cult of the physique…), the movie turns into mechanical and orthopedic; a chilly nightmare. Hausner focuses on the teacher-guru, however finally ends up ignoring this central character to show her into the identical caricature as his trustworthy college students. In the top, Club Zero It seems to be an overstretched piece of gum that turns its message right into a tasteless and complicated concoction.

Club Zero

Address: Jessica Hausner.

Interpreters: Mia Wasikowska, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Elsa Zylberstein, Mathieu Demy, Amir El-Masry.

Gender: tragicomedy. Austria, 2023.

Duration: 110 minutes.

Premiere: March 22.

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