11 Minutes full movie review - intercut lives join -- or don't -- in an urban disaster
The film's most blatant metaphor is the dead pixel on a computer screen. One security officer tries to wipe it off, thinking it's a bird dropping.
In the last image, a proliferation of thousands of screen images that turns into an abstraction as the screens multiply, the black spot persists. The painter catches it in an accidental ink stain, but the young thief recognizes it from the sky. The blot in the sky may be what the sleazy "director" points to the actress to lure her out on the balcony.
So what's a burned pixel? It's an imperfection, a flaw, the fly in the ointment, what stops us short of perfection. It's the governing principle of life, which we might otherwise conceptualize as the vagaries of destiny, fate, doom, coincidence, the quirk that prevents our harmony and peace. What renders making vulnerable.
The last screen shows a plethora of images of lives unwinding on separate screens. It's like the security officers' multiple outlook but multiplied. Thousands of people engaged in thousands of incidents, each with its own tensions, designs, solitudes, united only by what connections they have in time and space. Yet any one can suffer a turn that ties several together in a shared disaster. Fate is a burned out pixel.
As Skolimowski intercuts several story lines in the same 11 minutes we have no idea how these lives will intersect, if at all. As it happens, the director flogging a fake script to seduce an actress sets the dominoes falling. Ironically, the self-styled director ends up making the film's spectacular disaster climax. A jealous husband helps, but so do the two hotel security officers whose attempt to save the husband kills the wife.
There is no logic in our lives, just the interweaving of chance and mischance. Having seen the ending one craves to see the whole film afresh to look for the auguries of coincidence and doom.
In all the stories here, there is no joy. The closest we get to innocence and unalloyed pleasure is the nuns enjoying the hot dogs and the vendor's knowledge. But even there, the vendor has a sordid past expressed by a young woman. And nuns in habits are not living purity when they partake of a street hot dog, even apart from "the sin of gluttony." Otherwise each little drama involves sin and transgression. Still, the punishment is disproportionate to the sins.