In German filmmaker Jaschar L. Marktanner's nearly four-minute short film Aufdruck ("Label" in English), two young women in their twenties sit in a café and sip coffee out of way too small cups while smoking an unhealthy amount of cigarettes and talking about everything under the sun and beyond, like aliens.
In other words, think Jim Jarmusch but much less interesting.
Filmed largely in black-and-white (Sound familiar?), Label is going to look and feel familiar to anyone familiar with indie cinema. Jarmusch fans will, in all likelihood, snicker their way through the snarling, faux attitudes that dominate the film's style over substance approach.
There's nothing particularly wrong with the lead performances of Mary Krasnoperova and Kira Mathis, though it's hard not to feel like we're part of an acting class rather than watching anything resembling an actual event unfold.
With Coffee & Cigarettes in the back of anyone's mind, Label feels too slick and too posed to actually leave a lasting impact. While the film may very well find some success on the indie and underground fest circuit, Label is an experiment that doesn't quite work.