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Journal of Diminishing Returns


Swiss filmmaker Peter Liechti's film The Sound Of Insects: Record of a Mummy won the 2009 European Film Academy's Documentary award, but the film really defies categorization. Based on a novella, which itself was based on a diary recovered from the side of a perfectly preserved corpse, the film is a cinematic essay of a camper's self-imposed suicide by starvation. The nameless, faceless author's diminishing returns are recorded with each new journal entry from a makeshift tent in the Austrian wilderness; but a motive is never revealed, a back story never shared, and the viewer is left solely to wallow in the man's unsettling, sensory account of his physical and existential death. The Sound of Insects screens at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 29, and Sunday, May 1, at Webster University's Moore Auditorium (470 East Lockwood Avenue; 314-968-7487 or Tickets are $5 to $6.
Fri., April 29; Sun., May 1, 2011