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Director: Eugene Kotlyarenko
Presented by: Eugene Kotlyarenko
Starring: Dasha Nekrasova, Eugene Kotlyarenko, Jack Kilmer, Paige Elkington, Vishwam Velandy
2018, USA, 86 Minutes, DCP
To reiterate what I said back in 2015, when we had the pleasure of screening Eugene Kotlyarenko’s second feature film A Wonderful Cloud, it is the goal of every film festival (or at least the ones worth their salt) to discover and nurture emerging talent and singular visions. MdFF was lucky enough to find Kotlyarenko’s ambitious and timely first feature, 0s & 1s in our call for entries 8 years ago. We immediately recognized a unique mind at work, with bold ideas and the guts to commit to them. Three features later, this unconventional, multi-talented filmmaker continues to create ever-deeper and more resonant films. His work remains eye-popping and uniquely contemporary, offering-up achingly real and darkly comic insight into the world of millennial dating in the technological abyss.
Wobble Palace is a grimly hilarious and unexpectedly poignant look at one couple’s attempts to navigate a failing relationship on the eve of the most traumatic election in history. Eugene (director Kotlyarenko) and Jane (co-writer Dasha Nekrasova) decide to open up their faltering relationship and divide time in their shared house. Before the weight of their decision has time to sink in, Eugene is prowling his Tinder feed looking for a hook-up to ease the transition. And before his Tinder-depleted battery hits low power mode, Jane is off courting a Trump-loving tech bro who will likely treat her worse than Eugene ever has.
As these two unhappy characters wend their way through this wild weekend and several outrageous situations, their discontent only increases. Eugene’s fragile ego is tested by his newfound freedom while an equally fragile Jane seems alarmed at the prospect of being basic after failing a crucial internet personality test. With their lives continually revolving around the virtual kicks their respective phones provide, it’s no wonder these two erstwhile lovebirds flew smack dab into a wall of miscommunication. What the confused pair find at the end of their weekend-long experiment is that even in the Google age you just might have to put your phone away once in a while to find real answers. (Scott Braid)
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