In Theaters 03.15.2024 or Watch at Home 05.21.2024

Club Zero

Directed by Jessica Hausner
Film Movement
2023
110 Minutes
Austria, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Denmark, Qatar
English
Drama, Thriller, Comedy
Not Rated

At an international boarding school, an unassuming, yet rigorous, Miss Novak (Mia Wasikowska) joins the teaching staff to instruct a new class on “conscious eating.” Her impressionable teenage students each have their own reasons for joining the class – to improve fitness, reduce their carbon footprint, or get extra credit. Although early lectures focus on mindful consumption, Miss Novak’s discussions soon become increasingly disordered and extreme. A suspicious headmistress, concerned parents and the failing health of her students lead everyone to question the inscrutable Miss Novak’s motivations for teaching the class. As a few devoted pupils fall deeper under her cult-like tutelage, they are given a new, even more sinister goal to aspire to – joining the ominous “Club Zero.”

Combining a pitch-black comedic sensibility with elements of body horror, CLUB ZERO satirizes contemporary inclinations toward myopic insularity and blind faith brought on by anxieties regarding food, consumerism and environmental catastrophe. “Riddled with uncomfortable dialogue, audacious sequences, and a piercing score,” this “future cult classic” (Screen Rant), which had its world premiere in competition at Cannes, is the latest from Austrian writer/director Jessica Hausner, one of Europe’s most fearless and provocative auteurs.

Director & Cast

  • Director: Jessica Hausner
  • Starring: Mia Wasikowska
  • Starring: Sidse Babett Knudsen
  • Starring: Elsa Zylberstein
  • Starring: Mathieu Demy
  • Starring: Amir El-Masry
  • Starring: Ksenia Devriendt
  • Starring: Luke Barker
  • Starring: Florence Baker
  • Starring: Samuel D Anderson
  • Starring: Gwen Currant

Where to Watch

Trailer

Photos

Reviews

  • "Audaciously disturbing....[a] gripping and provocative mind-fuck....harrowingly funny....boundary-smashing....a skillful and daring filmmaker."
    Owen Gleiberman, Variety
  • "A real head-turner of a film."
    Wendy Ide, Screen
  • "Riddled with uncomfortable dialogue, audacious sequences, and a piercing score, Club Zero has all the ingredients to become a future cult classic. It’s for a great reason, too. The film contains a terrifying yet wonderful performance from Wasikowska, it includes brilliant commentary on the dangers of following blindly, and it provides great entertainment. The quirky script may not be for everyone, but my best guess is that no matter what you will think of this holistically, something in Club Zero will keep you talking."
    Patrice Witherspoon, Screen Rant
  • "[A] stylish, dystopian film that offers an interesting perspective on food and social alignments in contemporary bourgeois society…Quirky and uncomfortable but hard to turn away from, CLUB ZERO is reminiscent of Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Lobster, especially because it has a tone of below-average existence masked in contemporary and forward-thinking superficialities."
    Sabina Dana Plasse, Film Threat
  • "Jessica Hausner’s mannered, deadpan film buries body horror inside a satirical facade, using smart ideas about disordered eating — that it’s frequently a response to lack of control rather than about body size — to tell a story about grasping for transcendence in a frightening, confusing world."
    Alissa Wilkinson, Vox
  • "Like her earlier films AMOUR FOU and LOURDES, Hausner's film explores fanaticism in many facets. How it can creep into someone's life slowly. How it can eat away at free will in the name of unwavering belief. With [CLUB ZERO], however, she walks the satirical line more successfully, eliciting laughs from the audience during scenes that really should be uncomfortable to watch. That is, until the movie slips completely into a kind of horror, turning on the audience just as subtly as Ms. Novak's words turned her students, leaving everyone feeling not very well indeed."
    Marya E. Gates, RogerEbert.com
  • "Hausner’s latest is delightfully subversive...."
    Nicholas Bell, Ion Cinema
  • "Made with the anger and purpose of a documentary...There is a great deal to admire here in all this. There is a brilliant percussive score by Markus Binder, erupting as thumps and bangs like aural jump scares. There are those sharply constructed images and Hausner’s refusal to look away from uncomfortable facts. There are even moments of bitter humor. Just when we are convinced that Miss Novak is a complete charlatan, we find her immersed in private devotions to the Almighty Mother, a spirit apparently living inside a lily with a tealight burning between its petals. You have to laugh."
    Stephanie Bunbury, Deadline
  • "Funny, disturbing, provocative and full of interesting observations about our relationship with food."
    Zhuo-Ning Su, Awards Daily
  • "[Hausner's] most methodical and chilling film."
    Blake Williams, Filmmaker Magazine
  • "Held aloft by an impressive raft of performances by her ensemble cast, Hausner’s darkly perverse vision of self-care run amok is brought powerfully to life by the actors who play her students, in particular Luke Barker who plays Fred, and as Elsa, played by Ksenia Devriendt who brings a volatile fearlessness to the part that is nothing less than electric."
    Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, AWFJ.org
  • "The nattering, pulsating score that evokes tribal musical traditions gives away the real game here, Hausner’s focus most squarely placed on the stomach-turning efficacy with which insular thought protects and perpetuates itself."
    Charles Bramesco, The Playlist
  • "[T]he film’s characterization of this culture amounts to a vast system in which we’ve all been webbed up, with no character — parent and child alike — more savvy than the next, all turning to some modern day higher power for a sense of guidance or control that they might better find amongst each other."
    M.G. Mailloux, In Review Online
  • "Hausner fashions an immensely sophisticated mis-en-scene, the framing and blocking and arrangement of people and objects within the frame showing exactitude we expect from the films of Wes Anderson or the like...Also pleasurable is the clarity of Hausner’s storytelling and screenplay construction."
    Ankit Jhunjhunwala, Screen Anarchy
  • "Buñuelian in its ingenuity....[a] scabrous black comedy, a stick of dynamite handled with care."
    Alex Denney, AnOther Magazine
  • "Delicious to watch"
    Victor Fraga, Dirty Movies

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IFC Center New York NY March 15, 2024
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