Lake Tahoe

Director: Fernando Eimbcke
Year Released: 2008
Rating: 1.0

After the death of his father, a gaunt teen tries to get out of town with his beat up car, but hits a pole and then has to hunt around town for the part; back home, Mom sobs in the kitchen and little brother plays in a tent. Eimbcke's earlier picture, the underrated Duck Season, managed to be charming, low-key and strangely poignant because it didn't force anything - this is a serious of static shots in a proto-Jarmuschian vacant stare extravaganza. There are quirky asides (the old man with his youthful dog, the kung-fu kid/auto mechanic) but come across as forced and its deadpan treatment of the living's reaction to death and change almost seems to trivialize suffering. I felt like it was made by someone who learned how to grieve by watching art movies.