Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It


Wednesday, Jul 8 2009
Tatia Rosenthal’s stop-motion animation $9.99 adds a measure of stolid creepiness to co-writer Etgar Keret’s brand of dark whimsy. Like Jellyfish—the live-action film Keret directed with his wife, Shira Geffen, in 2007—$9.99 is an episodic affair detailing the absurd or fantastic encounters between all the lonely people—here, the inhabitants of a particular apartment building. An Israeli-Australian co-production, $9.99 is set in a city that vaguely resembles Tel Aviv, but is populated by Aussie-accented clay puppets: An aggressive beggar (voiced by Geoffrey Rush) shoots himself and returns as a no less irascible angel; a stoner is dumped by his girlfriend and consoled by a trio of heavy-partying pixie dudes; a repo man takes up with a supermodel, whose apartment includes some peculiar anthropomorphic furniture; and a little boy bonds with his ceramic piggy-bank. The movie’s nominal protagonist, a terminally unemployed 28-year-old still living at home with his depressed father, discovers, first, the meaning of life in a paperback purchased for $9.99 and, second, that nobody cares. The various scenarios intersect and comment on each other, abetted by an incongruously airy score. There’s nothing especially spiritual or Jewish about $9.99, but, with its numerologically suggestive title, this curious movie does inspire Kabbalistic reveries. Is it a drama unfolding in one of God’s failed creations? Are these depressed, abandoned beings a race of golems—inert creatures fashioned from clay and brought mysteriously to life?
July 10-16, 2009

About The Author

J. Hoberman


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed
  1. Most Popular


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"