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The Remnants of Civilization and the Dawn of Anxiety2012

  • 4.1
Two parallel films, unfolding simultaneously: a deadpan comedy about the problem of happiness. In THE REMNANTS OF CIVILIZATION, archeologist Karl unearths a lost civilization and meets his doppleganger. In THE DAWN OF ANXIETY, researcher Madeleine presents her utopian findings at the same academic conference while a shadowy figure skulks in the wings. Other topics include: boredom, misery, excruciating pain, sexo-cultural exchange, one-legged bears and prescription-strength canine narcotics.

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What makes this film worth watching? See All Reviews

"Whoa. I have no idea what it all means but I found myself laughing early on. And then I kept laughing." - Andrew Bujalski


5 members like this review

Maybe best described as Pynchon/Resnais mashup, hyper-fictional comedy about academics and time? I'm totally sure what this movie is, but if you are into mind bending non-traditional narratives, amazing dry humor, romantic triangles, doppelgangers, memory, utopianism, space-time, shady academic politics, you HAVE to watch RoC & DoA.

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top reviewer
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Member Reviews (19)

Bc27ab4a0d5817823d48ecb4741fb949?default=https%3a%2f%2fd3uc4wuqnt61m1.cloudfront.net%2fassets%2favatars%2fmale%2favatar m 0093
top reviewer

Maybe best described as Pynchon/Resnais mashup, hyper-fictional comedy about academics and time? I'm totally sure what this movie is, but if you are into mind bending non-traditional narratives, amazing dry humor, romantic triangles, doppelgangers, memory, utopianism, space-time, shady academic politics, you HAVE to watch RoC & DoA.

5 members like this review
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top reviewer

Still wrapping my head around this film. The director manages to brilliantly pull off a strange yet rewarding journey filled with laughs & quirky characters that suck you right in. Must Watch!

4 members like this review
801a9928d129ab2f5d96b46b14bd7554?default=https%3a%2f%2fd3uc4wuqnt61m1.cloudfront.net%2fassets%2favatars%2fmale%2favatar m 0078
top reviewer

This film was strange in all the right ways, filled with unexpected turns and surprising humor. What a great find!

4 members like this review

A fascinating use of time loops, cultural norms, and our own expectations. I liked it very much. A good fit for lovers of philosophy, dystopia, and the erudite.

2 members like this review

One of the best American Indie films I have seen in a very long time. The director/writer not only provides a film that is humorous but one that is very intelligent both in it's humor and story. It's refreshing to see such care and dedication to a story with everything in the beginning, middle, and end coming together. Watch this film if you want to see a story that has a terrific payoff. The most original film I have seen since Being John Malkovich. The Remnants of Civilization & the Dawn of Anxiety is that good!

2 members like this review

Holy shit! An American indie made within the last five years that has a strong directorial vision and a fresh sense of narrative structure. And I thought it no longer existed. Glad to be proven wrong -- a breath of fresh fucking air. Love the gems you can find on this site.

2 members like this review
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cbl

Wry, melancholy, and wistful at once--my favorite kind of movie. This film definitely rewards multiple viewings--it has many subtle layers and details. I only wish it were feature length!

2 members like this review

What a romp! Off-beat, hilarious, and always engaging. A fun ride from start to end. Highly recommended.

2 members like this review
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top reviewer

This was like a song in the round, a cyclical poem, a gyroscope spinning with the characters barely hanging on and always returning to the same theme; "Happiness Does Not Exist So Just Get As Close As You can."

1 member likes this review

Really enjoyed watching this film. It was great!

1 member likes this review

A melodic, folded diptych that captivates the viewer with wry and soulful...yea, yea. OK this film seriously made me feel less lonely. Watch it.

1 member likes this review
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top reviewer

Topics like the explanation for the origins of anxiety aligned with a quest for utopia are overlapped on characters attending a symposium, its lectures and exchanges therein. The characters and their preoccupations in a ubiquitous hotel setting for the conference, keep the conversations, direction, and message of the film unrooted, superficial. Any statement about happiness seems vague and lost in the execution.

A two-part (or, three, really, with the denouement) movie with each story intersecting at crucial points. I enjoyed the first segment best, perhaps because I'm a sucker for a thoughtful time-travel narrative. The second segment, though, disappointed. After a promising premise, the storyline seemed to fizzle out, problems were resolved too soon, and the film doesn't seem to know where to go afterwards. The denouement third part felt tacked on, like a Hollywood happy ending. Nice narrative idea, good editing, good acting, but ultimately disappointing.

I needed 29 more minutes to better understand the 2 main characters and their particular motivations. But I thoroughly enjoyed the story I was presented with.

boring

Really enjoyed watching this. Very interesting and well made.

Interesting characters and storylines. Was curious to see where they all ended up- satisfying ending!

NOT OPTIONAL

The film left me thinking about it afterwards. Really enjoyed it!