Nothing Vincenzo Natali
Published Aug 02, 2007Toronto losers Dave (David Hewlett) and Andrew (Andrew Miller) are long-time buddies until Dave announces he’s moving out. Dave has had enough with the agoraphobic Andrew never leaving the house, which is sandwiched between two highways.
In a single bad day, Dave gets fired, Andrew is falsely of sexual harassment and the city condemns their house. The cops surround their ramshackle abode and lob tear gas inside. Suddenly, our anti-heroes are transported into a white vacuum where nothing exists apart from their house and themselves: nothing, a pure, white space. Dave and Andrew learn to “hate away” any bad thing that upsets them, starting with hunger, then house bills and eventually each other.
Director Natali’s 1997 breakthrough Cube also dealt with characters trapped in an abstract environment. With a nod to Waiting For Godot and The Twilight Zone, Nothing has the makings of a great drama about friendship and war. The art direction and editing are superb; the white space focuses our attention on the pair, while their power of “hating away” anything they dislike is a clever invention. Sadly, the film treats them as buffoons. Nothing is an imaginative film, brilliant at times, but sells itself short. (Alliance Atlantis)