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A high concept film that shifts, jumps and changes perspectives over the course of 11 minutes, the story witnesses several people’s live prior to a connected calamity. Fast-paced and purposefully random, we see a sleazy Hollywood director audition a young, beautiful but naive married actress in a creepy casting couch moment, a hotdog vendor trying to set up shop, hiding a dark secret, a drug dealer fleeing on a motorcycle, and lots more. Each have a history and each seem separate but are all part of the same plight.
It’s a theme seen before, perhaps best known in 2004’s Oscar winning Crash, where seemingly unconnected stories suddenly come together. Renowned Polish writer/director Jerzy Skolimowski, who has been making films since the 1960s, has always been on the cutting edge. With 11 Minutes, a period of time he publically admits is more metaphorical than strictly adhered to in the film, he experiments with a more flashy style, trying to give the experience a richer organic tone. A mixed language movie, the action is hyped and orchestrated in a crescendo, building to a singular climax.
With a cast of mostly Polish actors, the trailer is sexy and wildly perplexing, promising a mystery with many layers. Whether that is sustainable over the short runtime (the film is an hour and twenty minutes) is a concern. Perhaps more an exercise in chaos rather than a tightly written narrative, 11 Minutes might be just a fun experiment instead of a proper movie experience. Either way, it’s good to see that Skolimowski, at 78, is still trying to innovate.
11 Minutes opens in limited release, April, 2016.