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Verbal Attack

dir. Miguel Albaladejo 1999 Spain 81 min. 35mm Spanish

Like Max Ophuls' La Ronde or, more recently, Richard Linklater's Slacker, Verbal Attack eavesdrops on the conversations of a number of colorful characters, following a fragmented and elusive story line through their various streams of consciousness. Two teenage boys share a tent and discuss the weird batch of kids at summer camp: a psychic, a transsexual-to-be, a cross-eyed prodigy. Two garbage collectors find a discarded baby and decide to keep it. A lesbian ventriloquist and her long lost lover share a bathtub and discuss the vagaries of attraction. A woman visits her dead husband's liver, now in the body of another man, but can't shake her anger at her deceased spouse's philandering. Two teenage girls discuss one's recent weight gain and wonder if she could be pregnant. A newly divorced man calls the water department to complain about his service only to find an ex-lover on the other end of the line. A playwright pitches his new play by asking a friend the question, "Have you ever been moved by words alone?" How they all come together is a strange and funny surprise, as is the dry humor in this understated delight.