Films about filmmaking are unlikely to ever go out of fashion as there is so much rich material to explore in the artistic and commercial tensions that result from creating cinema, the most popular and collaborative art form of the modern era. And while many of these inward looking films are affectionate tributes to the magic of movie-making, a lot of them are also deeply cynical satires about the rampant egos, ruthlessness and pretensions that are rife in the entertainment industry. Official Competition falls firmly into the second category, but distinctly applying many of the critiques that are commonly reserved for Hollywood cinema to the supposedly more austere European ‘art house’ style of filmmaking. Indeed, by mostly filming the protagonists from a distance, with no incidental music for the majority of the film, and mostly set inside the various rooms of a sparse and minimalist brutalist building, this film often projects the alienation of a Michelangelo Antonioni film.
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