Michael Glawogger's Slumminghas something of The Edukators about it, and something ofMike Leigh's Naked: it's about blind existentialrage, arrogant male ennui and what happens when schoolboy pranks turn nasty.
But it is not didactic: if anything, Glawogger trustshis own creative instinct too much in this story of Viennese wasters and twostudents who think it's ironic to hang out with them. But Glawogger hasgenerally good instincts, getting away with tonal shifts from burlesque topoetic symbolism to hard-edged romance.
The result is fuzzy around the edges, dramaticallyspeaking, but watchable. It won't break out of arthouses, but it shouldenjoy a respectable play in cineaste Europe.
A documentarist, Glawogger moved into features with Slugsin 2003. With Slumming, it feels like he is continuinghis documentary Working Man's Death, whichcharted those who do some of the world's worst jobs. Here, that uneasy pleasure becomes the subject of astory that hinges on the kind of anecdote that might be toldafter a few drinks.
For kicks, two young friends, rich slacker Sebastian(Diehl) and his student flatmate Alex (Ostrowski), take Kallman (Manker), asleeping wino, from Austria into Slovakia and leave him asleep on a different benchin a country where people speak a different language.
A facetious post-adolescent Situationist, Sebastianarranges internet dates with girls so he can photograph their knickers underthe table and text them to Alex. But when he meets Pia (Hierzegger), he issmitten.
Both Kallman and Sebastian are full of rage and self-loathing,and, while both might achieve great things, they won't.
Kallman's trip back from the East takes on symbolicundertones when he falls through a frozen lake, while Sebastian goes genuinely slumming in Indonesia.
Both begin to lose their rage and self-harm andsarcasm- a journey mirrored in the soundtrack's shift from techno to choral music.