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Foreign Comedy - Australia - He Died With A Felafel In His Hand


He Died With A Felafel In His Hand
Noah Taylor, Alex Menglet, Romane Bohringer
Based on the John Birmingham novel
Written and directed by Richard Lowenstein
Australia 2001
Film Movement 2005
107 minutes

Even by Australian movie standards He Died With A Felafel In His Hand is one weird comedy DVD. If something doesn't boggle your mind in the first five minutes of this movie you are in a Schiavo state of mind: a guy dies with a falafel in his hand, another guy plays frog golf, slackers discuss the homoerotic undertones of Reservoir Dogs, one guy does the dishes by dousing them in gasoline and setting them on fire, one guy is into moontanning. So that he died with a falafel in his hand is just one of those weird and crazy things and the most normal one in this art house style foreign film.

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He Died With A Felafel In His Hand is an extremely offbeat character based life comedy. In the beginning it is hard to resist rewinding a scene from time to time to get everything that is going on in it. This is a good thing because it takes a while to figure out where the story is in this Australian movie aside from the fact this is a movie about one slacker, Danny (Noah Taylor), sharing different living spaces with other, sometimes not really defined characters, and really strange shit happening.

This Australian comedy does lose its charm when Danny moves into the third house and is then followed by some of his old roommates. What was in the beginning quirky fun dialogue and scenes a viewer was willing to go along with because it was fun and cool becomes a hard to follow story line and philosophical French movie pretentious.

Film and modern culture buffs will have great fun playing Get The Reference in this movie. For example, the landlord's collectors are right out of a Tarantino movie and the sound of the Tardis and the Dr. Who theme can be heard later on (for no real reason of course). Not playing the game takes nothing away from this foreign film comedy and there's no way you can miss the Apocalypse Now bit.

Like all Film Movement DVD releases, this Australian movie comes with a short. This time it is Time Out by Robbie Chafitz. The premise, two adults playing two kids sent for a schoolyard time out, is good but the vocabulary the kids use kills any suspension of disbelief. It did win Best Comedy Short at the New York Independent Film & Video Festival

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