Weather House

This English-language German art movie is an absurdist drama in the Samuel Beckett tradition, featuring sparse dialogue and settings and a tone at once wry and apocalyptic. It takes place in a secluded woodland home where a group of scientists monitor the weather during a period of extreme climate change, the temperature fluctuating dramatically every few minutes. Somewhere far away, civilization is breaking down, and in this context the scientists’ devotion to their work seems ridiculous but strangely noble. Directors Frauke Havemann and Eric Schefter create a visual style befitting Mark Johnson’s minimalist script, employing slow zooms, somber line-readings, and barren widescreen compositions. The atmosphere feels grave even when the onscreen behavior looks silly, which is much of the time.