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Hotel Poseidon - Film Review (Sydney Underground Film Festival 2021)

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by Jennifer Muirhead (subscribe)
I am learning all the time. The tombstone will be my diploma. ~ Eartha Kitt
Event: -
Death, decay and fish
Hotel Poseidon, surreal movie, dark comedy, Belgian movie, Belgian film, Sydney Underground Film Festival, SUFF
The undertakers, there to speak with Dave about a death in the family.

After inheriting a decrepit sea-themed hotel from his late father, Dave (Tom Vermeir) is technically the hotel manager and spends his days wandering its rooms in a haze. When a young woman arrives looking for a room, Dave agrees to let her stay for a night and before he knows it, the hotel is thronging with quirky characters,

Hotel Poseidon, Belgian cinema, European films 2021, Sydney Underground Film Festival 2021, weird belgian movies, surreal European movies
Tom Vermeir as Dave.

The director, Stef Lernous, has a background in theatre, and it shows, as the film feels a bit like a stage play with a series of speeches from various odd characters. The film has a claustrophobic feel and a visceral atmosphere of decay. I could practically smell all those nasty half-empty fish tanks, so I wouldn't recommend eating while watching this movie.

Hotel Poseidon, Belgian movie, surreal dutch movie, 2021 movies, Sydney Underground Film Festival, movies about weird hotels, Anneke Sluiters
Anneke Sluiters as Nora, the mystery woman.

Hotel Poseidon
has been compared with Jean-Pierre Jeunet's 1991 black comedy, Delicatessen. It does have a similar sense of humour but less of a coherent storyline. I couldn't spoil the plot of this movie even if I wanted to because I'm not entirely sure what happened. It's the weirdest movie I've seen so far this year, and given that I also watched Stranger the other day, that's saying a lot. At one point there are a bunch of guys dressed as Jesus grooving in the basement to Soviet Wave music, and I'm still not sure why.

Hotel Poseidon is a quirky Belgian film for fans of surreal dark comedy. It is screening as part of the 2021 Sydney Underground Film Festival.
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Cost: $12 a ticket, or $36 for a 4 film pass.
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