Review

'11 Minutes' has a Big Brother vibe as intersecting lives are caught on camera

"11 Minutes" finds veteran Polish writer-director Jerzy Skolimowski in a decidedly experimental mood.

The unorthodox drama traces the activities of a group of seemingly unrelated characters whose lives ultimately intersect in unexpected and highly volatile ways in the same central Warsaw junction during what is ostensibly the same 11-minute period.

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Although the film seems to play a bit fast and loose with that specific time frame, the assortment of provocative characters, including a lascivious film director, a jealous husband, a coked-out drug dealer, a hot dog vending ex-con, harried EMT workers and a group of nuns, intriguingly go about their business, all dutifully recorded by video surveillance monitors, cellphone cameras and Web cams.

What it all means is admittedly oblique. Given the constant undercurrent of uneasiness accentuated by a sinister atonal score, there's an overriding Big Brother vibe, which might suggest that in society's all-consuming efforts to record everything for posterity we're losing sight of a bigger, more immediate picture.

That wide interpretive berth may not please those who prefer Skolimowski's more conventionally crafted works, such as 1982's "Moonlighting," but it's still nice to see that after some two dozen films, the 77-year-old filmmaker isn't content to simply mark time.

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"11 Minutes"

Not rated.

Running time: 1 hour, 23 minutes.

Playing: Arena Cinema, Hollywood.

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A version of this article appeared in print on April 15, 2016, in the Entertainment section of the Los Angeles Times with the headline "Lives intersect in cameras' view - `11 Minutes'" — Today's paperToday's paper | Subscribe
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