Wetlands (2013)
Directed by David Wnendt
Written by Charlotte Roche, Sabine Pochhammer, David Wnendt, Claus Falkenberg
Produced by Peter Rommel
Starring Carla Juri, Christoph Letkowski, Marlen Kruse, Meret Becker, Axel Milberg
Filth flows from and unto every orifice of a pretty, putrid provocateur (Juri) who vaginally absorbs muck from toilet seats, masturbates with phallic vegetables, slums with a fetishistic immigrant, contaminates provender and utensils with bodily fluids, face-paints with menstrual blood and swaps tampons with her unsightly best friend (Kruse) until an anal incision inflicted during a shave induces her hospitalization — a condition she meditates to prolong so to reunite her divorced parents (Becker, Milberg) and flirt with a timorous nurse (Letkowski). Wnendt adapted Roche’s daft novel as a pastiche of exquisite fatuity, plying flourishes of pinchbeck Tykwer, Boyle and Ritchie to ineptly offset its deficiencies: equivalencies are substituted for insights, snark for sport, posturing grotesques for appealing characters, obscene yet overworked anecdotes for a plot. Naturally, our grubby exhibitionist discountenances every authority figure who indulges the cheek to admonish her with outrageously feculent feats of idiocy, but for all its desperate endeavor to shock and nauseate with her sexual, narcotic and septic exploits, most of this adolescent feature’s 110 meandering minutes merely comprise a deadly longueur scarcely punctuated by rare moments of human sentiment or musty metaphysics. A critical and commercial success, Wnendt’s picture represents the infantile German cinema of Emmerich, Boll and Alexander that supplanted the disregarded Neuer Deutscher Film decades ago. Few archetypes are so mortifying as the stilted German striving to demonstrate countercultural irreverence, and ultimately substantiating just how impressible he or she is to degenerate American influence.

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