Reindeerspotting: A Junkie's Tale
Junkies are junkies wherever you go, and in this gonzo doc, the ashen, frigid cityscapes of Finland are home to a busy tribe of thieving hopheads devoted to the smack stand-in Subutex. Off-screen, director Joonas Neuvonen admits in an early title that he, too, uses daily, and indeed the film slouches and skitters along with a druggies lazy eye and penchant for serendipity. (Another HD video advantage: self-focus.) His protagonist and dope-buddy Jani is a scarecrow of a handsome teen whos already had two fingers axed off in a dispute; his varied and intense ingestion of chemicals allows for an in-depth discussion of the hows and whats, but its also as tiresome as hanging with high friends when youre sober, all of the action and amusement trapped in their skulls. Mostly pathetic but on occasion grimly funny (watching Christmastime reindeer races, a blasted idiot topples two stories to the street below, all caught in real-time by Neuvonens lens), Reindeerspotting eventually lights out for the frontier, like so many crazed-youth films before it. (In France, Subutex is free to junkies.) The Mediterranean sunlight intoxicates the Finns, but predictably its a dire road to nowhere.
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