Lucian D'Stair, Sebastien D'Stair
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY
Pablo D'Stair Back with Experimental "M.R Pickpocket"
Written and directed by indie experimental filmmaker Pablo D'Stair and starring Lucian and Sebastien D'Stair, the 55-minute ultra-mumblecore-styled flick M.R Pickpocket tells, or kinda sorta tells, the story of two young brothers who strive to create, produce, and market nothing short of an Eisner Award winning comic-book series based on the notion that their father, when not plodding at his mundane dayjob, is secretly a pickpocket.
In some ways, M.R Pickpocket is just the kind of film we've come to expect from D'Stair, a Dogme 95 inspired creation that is simultaneously absurd and intriguing in concept. One of the key concepts behind Dogme 95, and it certainly manifests here, is not using professional actors. While adorable, neither Lucian nor Sebastien would appear to have an acting background or, for that matter, speaking ability.
There's no question that I admire D'Stair's work, but I found M.R Pickpocket to be an excruciatingly painful film to watch with its ultra-mumblecore dialogue at times being indecipherable. Weirdly enough, the major exception seemed to be when the two child actors were gleefully enunciating their occasional obscenities.
Paul Vanbrocklin's lensing, as always, is inventive and off-kilter and the film is practically worth watching for the sole experience of seeing how he frames the complete and utter weirdness that unfolds.
The truth is that every experimental filmmaker, and it's definitely fair to refer to D'Stair in such a way, has to put their film out there and seek reviews with a good sense of humor intact and an awareness that there's not a chance in hell that every film they make will work for everyone. I mean, seriously, folks like Lars von Trier have made a career out of pissing on the critics.
So, hey. Take it for what it's worth with me. I'm a fan of D'Stair's work, but this latest effort just didn't click. The young actors, while somewhat endearing, were too often difficult to understand and simply didn't sell the material. While one expects tech issues when it comes to the microcinema world, there were issues here that could have been addressed, admittedly with some restrictions given the Dogme 95 inspiration. In the end, M.R Pickpocket is a comedy that never made me laugh and a bold experiment that too often comes off as experimental simply for the sake of being experimental. While D'Stair may have some success on the microcinema fest circuit, this is one flick that will only appeal to the most hardcore fans of experimental cinema.
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic