Sundance Review: “The Dog Who Wouldn’t Be Quiet”

Year: 2021
Runtime: 73 minutes
Writer/Director: Ana Katz
Stars: Daniel Katz, Valerie Lois, Mirella Pascual, Carlos Portaluppi, Julieta Zylberberg

By Morgan Roberts

In Argentinian writer/director Ana Katz‘s latest film, “The Dog Who Wouldn’t Be Quiet,” Sebastian (Daniel Katz) is at a crossroads. The film follows Sebastian as he goes from one odd job to the next, doing everything to survive. Meanwhile, as Sebastian moves through life, Earth faces a catastrophe.

This film is difficult to characterize as the plot is very loose. The scenes meander from one things to the next. At a mere 73 minute runtime, you would assume that this film has a very tight plot, but that is not what is found with this film. While a character study, there is not enough to establish as to why Sebastian is a person we should be interested in following. The film is a slow burn and it takes time, maybe too much time, to provide us with another context about Sebastian and his motivations.

Daniel Katz appears in The Dog Who Wouldn’t’ Be Quiet by Ana Katz, an official selection of the World Cinema Dramatic Competition at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute. All photos are copyrighted and may be used by press only for the purpose of news or editorial coverage of Sundance Institute programs. Photos must be accompanied by a credit to the photographer and/or ‘Courtesy of Sundance Institute.’ Unauthorized use, alteration, reproduction or sale of logos and/or photos is strictly prohibited.

Then, the film takes a turn as Earth itself faces near-catastrophe. An asteroid hits the planet, thus changing the atmosphere, causing people to faint. The world changes with people required to wear oxygen masks or walk closer to the ground to avoid the effects of the atmospheric change. There is nothing really explaining how this happens, and there is no lead up to the asteroid hurling toward the planet. Once that shift occurs, the film is almost unrecognizable from the film viewed previously and it really splinters the narrative.

The film appears to want to say a lot but its execution does not always work. It is hard to find the main character captivating as there is almost nothing that helps us peek into his motivations, emotions, or thoughts. When we leave the unstructured and anfractuous day-to-day life of Sebastian and move toward a sci-fi film, the shift is jarring and unsatisfying.

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