Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Daniel Hoesl's SOLDATE JEANNETTE wryly targets today's naughty consumer culture

SOLDATE JEANNETTE translates roughly to Soldier Jane, but don't worry: This movie is no European rendition of G.I. Jane (and it's leading lady is certainly not reminiscent of Demi Moore). No. The more-or-less sub-title of the movie -- a European Film Conspiracy -- might give you a better sense of what is actually going on here. Made on a shoestring (probably a thrift-shop shoestring at that), the movie -- via a very odd screenplay that tells only the minimal but fills in the blanks via the performances -- makes us question the society in which we live and wonder about other ways we might better manage it.

As written and directed by Daniel Hoesl, shown at left, Soldate Jeannette is pretty much an ironic and rather sleek indie film European-style, that wants to indict crass materialism but has a very odd way of doing this. Live the good life it exhorts us; just do it via theft and undermining the bourgeoisie by lying, conning and then skipping town.

Fortunately Herr Hoesl has found a most interesting actress (Johanna Orsini-Rosenberg, shown below) to essay his leading role, that of an approaching-middle-age woman who is not only down on her luck but seem to actually court this. The various activities she gets up to are too much fun to give away here, but they cover a multitude of sins.

Ms Orsini-Rosenberg proves a large, horsey but not unattractive actress with the ability to hold our eye and mind as she brings her ever-under-the-radar schemes to fruition.

Her character resists the pleas of both family and friends to live according to the current notions of consumer society. She is her own gal at all times -- from her passe clothing choices to the karate class she joins, from her notions of investment advice (and its payoff)  to the interest she takes in a young co-worker (Christina Reichsthaler, above, right) with whom she bonds, once our heroine goes "on the run."
Soldate Jeannette is more a smart, cute provocation than any kind of realistic, believable or serious movie. It's not even really a genre film. But it is fun, and I suspect that it -- and the performance of its leading lady -- will keep you alert and semi-surprised throughout.

Its DVD --  in a good transfer from IndiePix Films and running just 79 minutes, with some movie-making extras included, as well -- is available now for purchase or rental.

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