AMATEUR (1994, USA, Hal Hartley)
How can you be a nymphomaniac and never have sex?
I wanted to like this one a whole lot more than I was able to. For a while in the nineties Hal Hartley looked pretty exciting, a certifiably indie director as fascinated by spiritual things as he was by offbeat characters and unconventional storylines. But what sounded audacious and maybe even spiritually illuminating – a young nun leaves the convent to find her truer calling, fills in time writing pornography and dreaming of truer love – turns out to be kind of pointless and a bit tawdry in this not-quite-thrilling thriller (or is it a not-too-funny comedy?). There's a theme here of rebirth, or at least reinvention, and it works for some Hartley fans: none of these characters are what they appear to be, or what they used to be, they're reaching for new beginnings. The film wants to be transcendent: for me, though, it fails to transcend.
Available at Videomatica