SXSW Film

Daily reviews and interviews

SXSW Film

Goliath

D: David Zellner; with David Zellner, Nathan Zellner, Caroline O'Connor, Andrew Bujalski, John Bryant, Wiley Wiggins, Chale Nafus

Something of a bookend to the Zellner Bros.' 2005 short "Foxy and the Weight of the World" (in which a man, felled by a bowl of poisoned Weetabix, delivers a last screed to his dog), the feature-length Goliath charts one sad sack (played by David) and his rapid unhinging after an acrimonious divorce and a beloved cat, Goliath, gone missing. The Zellners have a particular sensibility – short on plotting, long on lensing the absurd little mundanes of modern-day living – and a little bit of it goes a long way, which is to say that Goliath could easily shave 10 minutes off its running time to no deleterious effect. There's some very funny stuff here, and much to make you wince, too. The film falters when David, an unnamed every-schlub, strains too obviously for real emotional effect (he's a terrible sobber); he's better at deadpan, better yet at steely resolve, as in a sublime little bit of choreography in which David takes to the streets, an asphalt samurai wielding a pole tree pruner. Curiously, this is the second Austin-based Festival film that features a registered sex offender. What is this, the anti-Chamber of Commerce?

Saturday, March 15, 4pm, Paramount

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