My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea (2016)

My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea
Director: Dash Shaw
Writer: Dash Shaw
Cast: Jason SchwartzmanLena DunhamReggie WattsMaya RudolphSusan SarandonThomas Jay RyanAlex KarpovskyLouisa KrauseJohn Cameron MitchellMatthew MaherEmily DavisKeith Poulson
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 23.9.2017

Dash (Jason Schwartzman) is annoyed that his best friend Assaf (Reggie Watts) has started to date Verti (Maya Rudolph). This would be the biggest catastrophe of his life if it wasn’t for the earthquake that made the cliff his high school is built on crumble and float out into the sea where it’s slowly sinking. Now Dash, Assaf and Verti are joined by popular girl Mary (Lena Dunham) and Lunch Lady Lorraine (Susan Sarandon) as they try to reach the roof.

I liked the animation style of My Entire High School Is Sinking Into the Sea, but storywise I think it would have been better as a short film.

The film operates pretty much on a standard story with pretty standard characters. I mean, yeah, the angle of the sinking high school is kind of new, but we’ve seen these characters in precarious situations in more than one film (and will probably see them in many yet to come). And I have to admit that I’ve grown a little tired of these characters.

Although that’s not entirely fair. I’m mostly tired of characters like Dash: self-absorbed, nerdy writer types who are more or less thinly veiled stand-ins for the writer/director. While some lampshading takes place here, this doesn’t change the fact that it is yet another film about an entitled white boy who feels the world treats him badly and he doesn’t deserve that. Yawn.

The animation style was unusual and it’s really the best thing about the film. It’s a little strange and wild and looks pretty cool.

But neither the animation, nor the whimsy of the story and the few good jokes there are throughout the film are enough to carry it all through its feature length. I can imagine that I would have felt differently about it if it had been 20 minutes long, but as a feature, i grew bored with it soon.

Summarizing: Too long, but there is some charming stuff there.

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