BIFF 2013 - Pincus - Cinema Review

'Pincus hooks up with yoga instructor Anna and, in a bid to win her affections, subjects his Dad to all manner of hippie treatments, the most hilarious one involving being viciously blasted by a didgeridoo'

The delightfully dry Pincus (David Nordstrom) tells the tale of the titular oddly named gentleman and his Parkinson's suffering father (Paul Fenster) as they attempt to co-exist in the condo-disguised wilderness of Florida.

David Fenster's film has a new-age beat to it, as Pincus hooks up with yoga instructor Anna (Christi Idavoy) and, in a bid to win her affections, subjects his Dad to all manner of hippie treatments, the most hilarious one involving being viciously blasted by a didgeridoo. That these appear to have little impact suggests a cynicism in Fenster's film, but it never manifests itself viciously so and it is fairly difficult to dislike Anna, despite her floaty ideologies.

Whilst dodging incense and psychics, Pincus attempts to keep the family building business afloat with a mixture of ineptitude, apathy and the philosophical wisdom of German assistant Dietmar (Dietmar Franusch). From this Fenster's film builds its subtextual ideas of running away from illness as a solution: literally, it is suggested late on, burying one's head in a hole and hoping it all goes away might well be some sort of answer.

The script, also by Fenster, fails to produce plotting that is anything other than anecdotal but the dialogue is lilting, pleasant and frequently humorous, whilst the glib one-liners prove satisfying.

The only surprise perhaps is that this seems to have fairly little to say on illness, beyond the aforementioned nod towards ignoring it. With a central plot ringed around how both Pincus and his father are dealing with the latter's condition, the subtext goes fairly drastically missing and Fenster increasingly searches out distraction in the wildly outlandish. This reaches a head when Pincus and Anna find themselves in a weird Native American-themed photo shoot by a glamour photographer, which has little to do with the plot and isn't as funny as the more gentle comedy elsewhere.

This is though very accomplished Indie-Comedy, a gentle look at living your life in the grip of illness; whether that be yours or a loved one.




The 19th Bradford International Film Festival ran from 11th to 21st April 2013 at the National Media Museum and other venues near to the city.

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