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Thread: NEW DIRECTORS/NEW FILMS 2020 (April 28-May 8, 2021)

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    BIPOLAR (Queena Li 2021)

    QUEENA LI: BIPOLAR (2021)


    HA KAILANG IN BIPOLAR

    On the road in Tibet with a lobster

    Richard Gray on Letterboxd says "Queena Li’s Orpheus by way of Alice tale is all about the journey. The best use of a lobster in a narrative since Annie Hall." The Girl (Leah Dou) may be getting over something. Maybe her ridiculously pretty boyfriend (He Kailang), who shows up in swimming pool flashbacks inexplicably suicidal (I guess the movie's named for him), did commit suicide. Or maybe he's her, and maybe her alleged career as a singer-songwriter hit a snag. At the outset we see the Girl in a phone booth getting bad news. Her Tibetan pilgrimage takes a turn at a fancy Lhasa, Tibet hotel. She has arrived here alone on her birthday. Her room is big but dinky. She steals the "rainbow" lobster enshrined in a lobby display as a holy creature, and carries it beside her in her car as she goes wandering cross country.

    Leah Dou, a singer-songwriter fluent in English as well as Cantonese, is the daughter of the Cantonese pop superstar Faye Wong who played the winsome Faye in Wong Kar-wai's Chungking Express. So whe comes from fame and privilege, and she projects ennui and entitlement, but modestly. The news the Girl receives in the phone booth brings pain and her body starts to shiver. As she cringes in the booth and memories take over for a while - the film announcing itself as more surreal than, in the routine of its road picture trajectory, it actually winds up being. Sometimes shadows drift underwater though, and there is the occasional flashback to Pretty Boy. What continues apart the nice music is Ke Yuming's beautiful, fluffy widescreen black and white cinematography, ultimately the dominant thing. It is is heavy on overlaid images and framing shots using drapery, shrubbery, leaves and branches. Later the Girl's car breaks down in the middle of nowhere - the adventure begins - and somehow she winds up continuing in a very local pickup truck with lots of folkloric decoration and fringes. Girl doesn't know where she is going. At a temple or school she is commended for saying this. Nobody knows, someone says, but they usually can't admit it. Use is made of Tibetan holy places and wooly bearded, matter-of-fact old Tibetan men (and a boy monk) ready with a chuckle and a word of wisdom. And there is a flamboyant wig salesman played by a real local celebrity, the Tibetan/Bhutanese lama, filmmaker and writer Khyentse Norbu. Girl's English comes in handy when an American on horseback invites her to a feast. A young woman who says she's pregnant hitches a ride. They release some caged animals, including an elephant.

    The Screen Daily Rotterdam review describes the film as full of challenging hints and portents (it's certainly rich in alternate possibilities) and says that "Audiences game enough to come along for the ride might not all end up at the same destination; this isn’t the kind of filmmaking which comes with a map." No, it doesn't. But the meandering road trip movie is a familiar genre and though this one is teasing and pretty, it's not so memorable. The lobster may be what people will remember. It's often talked of. The old question of whether it hurts for a lobster to be dropped into a pot of boiling water comes up repeatedly. If only David Foster Wallace could have been on hand to provide a thoughtful answer. The lobster develops serious health problems, and ultimately the Girl's aim to deposit it at the (famous?) Ming Island Lighthouse is thwarted for several reasons, a main one being that there is no lighthouse. Try as one might, one starts to care how things will turn out even if it may just be that they'll end; but darned if there isn't a sense of an ending, somehow.. A mite long, though.

    Bipolar, 107 mins., debuted Feb. 3, 2021 at Rotterdam. Screened for this review as part of New Directors/New Films at MoMA and Lincoln Center, hybrid post-pandemic version Apr. 28-May 8, 2021.


    LEAH DOU IN BIPOLAR
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 05-01-2021 at 05:01 PM.

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    EL PLANETA (Amalia Ulman 2021)

    AMALIA ULMAN: EL PLANETA (2021)


    ALEJANDRA AND AMALIA ULMAN IN EL PLANETA

    Acts of random reality denial

    Unless you're very rich, there is an edge between yourself and homelessness that is thinner than you may think, and this is a frightening fact the new Spanish comedy El Planeta gives us some bitter tastes of in its series of dry black and white (but mostly black) vignettes. The director is conceptual artist Amalia Ulman, who studied costume design at Central Saint Martins in London, whose history seems not unlike that of Leo, her character here. Her mother Ale Ulman is here too as the mother of "Leo" (Ms. Ulman), and they are living, barely, in Gijón, Asturia, in a flat where they can no longer pay the utility bills. They live by grifting and in self deception. But how much of comfortable bourgeois life, in a time of economic crisis, is a thing of self-deception and narrow margins?

    Leo and her mother are stylish and the mother looks young. They like shopping. A credit card is still working and mom charges meals and food to a rich man friend who may or may not exist. Leo sells her sewing machine to someone, perhaps to afford a trip to New York where she has been requested to design outfits for Christina Aguilar; only it would be only for the prestige as the pay would be minimal. But she would take nothing less. As for her mother, she qualifies for virtually no benefits because she is considered a housewife, and she doesn't consider getting a job. So the time and money are running out.

    In the opening scene, Leo is meeting with a married man who has answered her online self-advertisement as a sex worker. But his requirements are disgusting and his pay offer is derisory so it's a no-go. Later in a shop Leo meets Amadeus (Chen Zhou), a sometime London resident minding his relative's business. He seems attractive. He lures Leo into a date, which turns to sex at his place. The next day she learns he might buy the small shoes he's admiring for his son. He has a son and a wife too. Is that a thing? Yes, as a matter of fact it is.

    Leo doesn't wear heels because she was in an accident as a result of which her legs hurt.

    At the end, it seems mother is interested in how she's heard the food in prison is good.

    This is a kind of bare bones sexually explicit pessimistic comedy that is stunning in its cold-bloodedness. It has been compared with early Jim Jarmusch, but where is the hilarity of Stranger Than Paradise and Down by Law? or the sense of orderly pacing? I found no delight here. What I did find was a mindset that's eye-opening about living on the edge and living by lies, women who call eating nothing but cookies and cakes a "disassociative diet" and who, when the electricity is turned off, switch to reading in bed on their cell phone, or peruse a book by the timed light in front of the elevator. In the daytime they shop and afterwards treat themselves to taxis. The end is in sight, but when it comes they'll never tell, not even one another.

    Il Planeta 79 mins., debuted at Sundance, Jan. 2021. Screened at home for this review as part of New Directors/New Fims, MoMA and Film at Lincoln Center, Apr. 2021. Metascore 79%.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 05-01-2021 at 05:01 PM.

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    FRIENDS AND STRANGERS (jAMES vAUGHAN 2021)

    JAMES VAUGHAN: FRIENDS AND STRANGERS (2021)


    FERGUS WILSON AND GREG ZIMBULIS IN FRIENDS AND STRANGERS

    Looking at a generation and a class in a very intentional piece of seeming randomness


    An Australian film about "millennial ennui" and, possibly, deeper menace, James Vaughan's debut feature, which he also wrote, has very slow-moving dialogue that's caused it to be linked with mumblecore, but it has more of an agenda. It concerns Ray (Fergus Wilson), a twenty-something videographer who runs into Alice (Emma Diaz) in Sydney in the summertime. She is driving her brother's car to Brisbane and he joins her on an ill-starred camping trip. The two wind up together in a tent (zip, unzip, zip); Ray misunderstands what's going on (nothing), resulting in a very delayed-fusing (but short-lived) "comedy of manners and misunderstandings." The action is so slow, the conversation so inconsequential, it seems almost an acid trip. This quality will eventually be redoubled, or more. Soon Ray is back in Sydney running some errand with a friend, then having to be rescued by his disapproving mother when his car breaks down.

    She wonders when he's ever going to amount to anything. An underlying message of the film is that this very question, seemingly threatening, is really a sign of safety, because it is only askeable by and of the semi-affluent. The answer doesn't matter because, whether Ray succeeds at anything or not, he'll be okay. Those who lack this level of ease don't have the luxury of asking.

    The acid trip feel redoubles during Ray's visit to a seaside villa where he’s expected to film a wedding and wanders the house and talks to the bride's father David (Greg Zimbulis), a garrulous art collector with a pouty daughter, Sammy, lazing in her messy room. Ray's gets into dangerous territory again - it's largely his function to do so - when David makes seemingly damning remarks about artists whose works cover his walls floor to ceiling as being foul minded and deranged and Ray refers to it as "filth" and gets tromped on, also literally knocks a hole in a wall when pushed by David to test its strength. All the while from next door comes fluctuating, sometimes very loud and disturbing string music whose sound is very much on the order of fingernails clawing a blackboard. Mood quite effectively outweighs content here. Mumblecore obviously never achieved this level of menace, hysteria, of lurking horror.

    Later the director rounds out his picture of social privilege by pointing out that, in fact, there is not a single non-white or probably non-Anglo person to be seen throughout this film. Ray winds up joining a tour of the fancy seaside property as it ends and a lady asks, "This may be a stupid question, but what about the aboriginal people, are there any around here?" The guide begins, "No, that's not a stupid question at all..." but somehow the tour gets interrupted at that point and there is never an answer. Ray goes swimming, and his mother comes to rescue him, brought by David who, no surprise, has discovered they're old school friends. Closing captions say "Filmed on the lands of the Eora and Ngunnawal peoples." Friends and strangers, indeed. A little film that begins by annoying and trying one's patience but ends up seeming pretty cool.

    The cinematography of Dimitri Zaunders may mirror "the looks of surveillance footage" as Leonardo Goi writes in (The Film Stage but it's really quite handsome all through, especially when depicting landscape, and more strikingly it exudes a sunny, bland beauty that makes everything more trippy.

    Friends and Strangers, 93 mins., debuted at Rotterdam Feb. 3, 2021, virtual also at Jeonju, it was screened online for this review as part of the MoMA/Film at Lincoln Center series New Directors/New Films (Apr. 28-May 8, 2021).
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 05-11-2021 at 08:18 AM.

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    PEBBLES ( P.S. Vinothraj 2021)

    P.S. VINOTHRAJ: PEBBLES (2021)


    CHELLAPANDI IN PEBBLES

    Raging in the heat in Tamil country

    Pebbles is the grim drama of a alcoholic man, Ganapathy (theater actor Karuththadaiyaan) - also (in modern psycho-babble) a "rageaholic" - who drags his little son Velu (newcomer Chellapandi) out of school on a bus trip to his wife's impoverished village in the Tamil Madurai district after she runs away from his abusiveness. When he and the boy get to the town, they learn his wife has left to go back to him. Everyone heaps abuse on everyone else. All this takes place in remote southeastern India, Tamil country, which looks like the American southwest. It's so hot and dry nothing grows but wispy little trees. Women sit around waiting to grab rats when they're smoked out of their lairs, for food. The direness of the environment suggests the Australian outback, and these people feel a little like abandoned Australian aborigines.

    Vinothraj shot the film in washed-out widescreen images with Sony A7 camera with CP.3 lenses: it's possible nowadays to get near-professional-quality visuals with a portable camera costing three or four thousand dollars and edit with the latest version of Apple Final Cut Pro. It's a particular advantage to work this light as an independent filmmaker can today when the subject is rugged country and unbearable weather like this. The determination, plus the modern technical efficiency of method, pay off as a combination in this powerful little film that Richard Brody of The New Yorker commends for "the stark clarity of its story and the audacity of its style" and calls "the best dramatic feature" in this year's New Directors/New Films series.

    The ultimate subject is dire poverty aggravated by extreme drought. Rage and alcoholism are seen as almost, in a way, legitimate responses. It makes for what the jury at Rotterdam, giving Pebbles the highest "Tiger" award, called "pure cinema." But as Brody points out, Vinothraj is a keen observer of the social and physical details he finds and the momentary changes of situation and mood his story delineates, so people like a woman with a child in her lap on the back of the bus and angry riders who tangle with Ganapathy over his smoking stand out and are individually memorable, even extra tickets charged for pots of water and the loose pole detached from the bus's roof. Even Ganapathy standing and glaring in all directions, retying his lungi, or energetically lighting a cigarette: it all seethes with energy and menace, though menace we sense is going nowhere and in time will burn itself out. Velu is obedient, and follows, but also tears up the return bus tickets so they must walk back and runs the the opposite direction in powerful protest later on, and continues to provoke and sabotage is father in other ways, throwing away his matches and burning his father's bare back with a reflective shard. There is no order here but the background throb of desperation and the rage of one against another when all are victims, but the filmmaker creates his own sense of order and perhaps of hope through his relentless attention to physical detail and his gift for pauses and silences that give his little film its power and its passion, the sense of a story, however grim and petty, told extremely well and with precision.

    Pebbles/Koozhangal, 75 mins., debuted at Rotterdam Feb. 2021 where it won the Tiger Award; FICUNAM, (Mexico, Jeonju (all internet). Screened at home online for this review as part of the MoMA/Film at Lincoln Center series New Directors/New Films (Apr. 28-May 8, 2021).
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 05-01-2021 at 11:15 PM.

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    LUZZU (Alex Camilleri. 2021)

    ALEX CAMILLERI: LUZZU (2021)


    JESMARK SCICILUNA AND MICHELA FARRUGIA IN LUZZU

    Maltese fisherman must give up his ancestral job

    Luzzu is the kind of neorealist docudrama that never quite goes out of style. Not when it's about someplace unfamiliar or new (yet perennial) social problems. The luzzu is an archaic small fishing boat indigenous to the island of Malta, where this takes place. It's most unusual to see a movie actually set in Malta, and the dialogue may be the first time you've heard the Maltese language, a unique combination of Arabic, Italian and Sicilian with some English thrown in. Unlike Arabic or its many local dialects it's written in roman letters and has no diglossic linguistic relationship with classical or modern standard Arabic yet it's a Semitic language included in the European Union. The language dramatizes what a peculiar mixture these people are.

    The protagonist, Jesmark ( Jesmark Scicluna) is a handsome, square-jawed young fisherman and son and grandson of fishermen who fished with the same luzzu boat, which for them was sustainable. In the current economic climate it's not. The movie piles problems on Jes and his wife Denise (Michela Farrugia), The old fishing boat leaks and requires extensive repair, which may not be enough. The couple's baby boy has growth problems requiring special diet and regular visits to expensive specialists. The local wholesale fish market appears corrupt, or at least discriminates against Jes and his father, whom he fishes with while his luzzu awaits repair. Regulations are so strict now Jes's father insists - following a dutiful call from his boat to the local fishing authorities on his cell phone to ask - very much against Jes's wishes - on throwing back a swordfish (dead because they die the minute they're out of water) which would have netted them hundreds of euros.

    The safe alternative, a steady paycheck, for Jes would be going to work on a trawler. But he knows those damage the sea bed and he will not work a job that destroys the environment his family has been part of for generations. But while he is righteous, a big negative problem is his anger and big mouth. He is becoming persona non grata with a gathering number of people in the trade he has offended. It's classic, really: the biggest problems here are Jes and his luzzu - and they are where the movie hooks up our sympathies from frame one. Nothing is subtle here. But nothing gets in the way, either. So we are drawn in when Jes is tempted to throw in his lot with a lucrative but dangerous illegal black market operation having nothing to do with the sea.

    Camilleri is a new voice on the world cinema scene who works in the neorealist tradition of early Visconti, Rossellini, the Dardenne brothers, and an American mentor, Ramin Bahrani, the Iranian American from the South whose early films, Man Push Cart (ND/NF 2006), and Goodbye Solo had a pleasing authenticity. He has gone in other, less effective directions with his socially conscious filmmaking since but producing efforts like this one are always welcome.

    Luzzu,, 94 mins., debuted at Sundance Jan. 2021 (Sciciluna won an acting award at Sundance, where the film was nominated for the world Best Picture prize). It was also included in the Tronheiim Norway virtual fest, Sofia, and Hong Kong. Screened online for this review as part of the MoMA/Film at Lincoln Center series New Directors/New Films (Apr. 28-May 8, 2021).
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; Today at 01:04 AM.

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    AZOR (Andreas Fontana 2021)

    ANDREAS FONTANA: AZOR (2021)


    JUAN PABLO GERETTO (CENTER), FABRIZIO RONGIONE IN AZOR

    The turning of a Swiss banker


    With AzoR, Andreas Fontana's lavish debut is something rare, if not for every taste. It's a bit of a slow burner; its climax is a smug smile. Its score consists of discreet throbs, coming more often toward the end than at the beginning of an event. Believe it or not, it's a Swiss film about banking, private banking, that is. Coming at the latter part (1980) of Argentina's 1976-1983 "Dirty War," when assassinations, disappearances, and highway robbery were rife. Into this world comes Yvan De Wiel (Fabrizio Rongione), partner in a private Swiss bank that bears his name, with his wife Inés (Stéphanie Cléau), together on a visit to Buenos Aires from Geneva. He will have to clean up, repair bridges, meet people at the very top of the country's power structure. De Wiel's partner René Keys, who dealt with the Argentinians, has suddenly disappeared.

    Technically, perhaps, this is an Argentinian film. Fontana is Swiss, but he makes his home in Argentina now. He is introducing someone he might have known into a world, that is a time, he himself is visiting - because he was not in Buenos Aires in 1980. This makes a nice companion piece for the early films of Pablo Larraín. It is more gilt-edged version of the South American dictatorship nightmare.

    Graham Greene and Conrad have been mentioned, and also John Le Carré as shot by Coppola. This film is grand, and filled with menace. It is a very, very slow burner, but the menace is always there from the start. Even the language seems treacherous, the way everybody switches back and forth from French - to comfort De Wiel and his wife (but the latter is often excluded from discussions in this male-dominated country), or Spanish, to comfort everybody else. And you never know when they will switch, or what secrets anyone is harboring. You may want to say: Wait! Let the banker meet with people in a bank. Because there De Wiel might be more at ease, rather than a club belonging to the ruling junta, a race course, a lavish party, or a swimming pool, or driven somewhere in a car whose chauffeur he does not know. De Wiel doesn't even swim, ever, his wife says. Indeed he does not look good even in shirtsleeves. Throughout the many testing scenes the high-level mise-en-scène never ceases to impress and even to delight. Fontana seems to have all the means necessary at his disposal.

    Much of the time, early on at least, De Wiel looks uncomfortable. Indeed the main job for actor Fabrizio Rongione (a Belgian, despite the name), one he performs extremely well, is very slowly and subtly to sweat, wilt, and go pale, while remaining impeccably polite and wearing the proper outfits and maintaining a superficially calm and proper demeanor. The object of De Weil's wife, when she appears, when not merely smoking a cigarette in a fine dress and talking to a sad woman from a once important family who has much to be silent about, is to give her husband pep talks, or chide him not to give in to cowardice or fear. Someone says of Keys's disappearance that any man has a right to be afraid at certain times and places. And indeed we sense that these scenes are such times and places. Thoroughbred horses and favorite daughters suddenly disappear all the time. Whether Keys got out or is locked in a basement is not entirely certain.

    Slowly, De Wiel drifts into what is essentially insanity - learning to deal with a high level criminal element (one junta honcho is a collared monsignor). He is deeply uncomfortable with the idea of replacing Keys, evidently a bold, eccentric risk-taker whom everybody loved and utterly unlike himself. But probably his discretion will work better for the junta, in the end. The Heart of Darkness, after four other chapters, is "Lazaro." It is a place somewhere upriver, where De Weil will hear a lengthy listing of what must be essentially hundreds of millions of dollars worth of stolen goods these men would like him to help them turn into cash. As before, he maintains a calm demeanor. He is ready for it, after all. His wife was right, And the final image as he is taken back to town is that quiet, satisfied smile. It's a very neat and expressive ending to this thought-provoking film. Is the focus too specific and rooted in its time and place to be of wide interest? I didn't think that while watching Pablo Larraín's Tony Manero (NYFF 2008) and Post Mortem (NYFF (2010). They were more colorful. They had Alfredo Castro. But this is creepy in its own very confident way.

    Cowritten by Fontana with Mariano Llinás, writer-director of the arthouse epic La Flor.

    Azor, 100 mins., debuted March 2021 at the Berlinale; also showed at Moscow. It was screened online for this review as part of the MoMA/Film at Lincoln Center series New Directors/New Films (Apr. 28-May 8, 2021).
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 05-04-2021 at 11:55 PM.

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    WOOD AND WATER (Jonas Bak 2021)

    JONAS BAK: WOOD AND WATER (2021)


    ANKE BAK IN WOOD AND WATER

    A quiet visit to Hong Kong

    Jonas Bak is a free lance photographer whose debut feature stars his mother, Anke Bak. Is this therapy, a way to reconnect? He himself lived some time in Hong Kong, location of most of the film, with his lawyer wife, unable to work in the film industry because he knew no Chinese. (He lived longer in Scotland, but that's not very far from Germany.) This is about an older woman's solitary journey to a faraway place to be briefly closer to her estranged son. The film doesn't particularly go anywhere, but it has a meditative quality. It may show how sometimes getting away can really be getting away. It's a bold journey for a reserved woman of a certain age, even if nothing much happens.

    As the film begins, the mother's character retires at 60 from years of working in the office of a church in rural Germany. Her semi-estranged son (in the film) has been for years in Hong Kong and she hardly ever sees him. He can't come for a family celebration scheduled for now so she decides to go to Hong Kong to see him. They chat on the phone and he says this will work. He arranges for her to stay at his apartment there, but he's never around that we ever see; she is left on her own. She is a quiet, placid soul, so she handles this pretty well. The apartment at least has big windows with rather spectacular views. As to the result, Bak has alluded to "slow cinema."

    She is lucky in having pleasant encounters, though nothing dramatic or exciting, despite the fact that the Hong Kong protests of 2019-20 are in full swing. One day she can see a long parade of demonstrators from the window. The first day, she can't get in at the late hour when she arrives at her son's apartment building and she has to stay at a hostel-like place in a bedroom shared with a young woman. However the young woman is chatty and tells her briefly her "story." Later, the (as promised) friendly building receptionist accompanies her to lunch at a friend's restaurant, and another day, lets her come to the park to do tai chi with him. By chance she goes by herself to a fortune teller. An elementary school classmate, a retired art teacher, is there and can translate for her.

    The essence of her fortune is that her element is water. This means she is noble and respected by many people, but her children will leave her, and she needs wood, and must live near it. This rings true for her, obviously, for the children leaving, and she happens to live on the edge of the Black Forest, near wood. That night, she dreams of a forest. Another day she goes to a therapist her son has seen, following a paper she found lying around, and learns he has been diagnosed with anxiety depression and is taking medications for that.

    Bak spends no time getting from here to there or back again. He has evidently saved only the parts of his 16mm shooting that he liked. In an interview with a Berlinale organizer he has explained that the film is different from what he had planned, that his mother said that she would never do things in the script, so he scrapped them. He said he now hopes to make this the first part of a trilogy, the next two being about the son, though the mother will have to make an appearance. He doesn't know if his mother will oblige. One wonders who he'll cast as the son, and if the storyline will get closer to his own life, or diverge more.

    As Beatrice Loayza says in her generally favorable comment on this film in her New York Times 2021 ND/NF preview , Bak avoids a "white woman finding herself in a foreign land" trajectory, partly because of the pull of the omnipresent (but avoided) demonstrations; I'd say also because of Anke Bak's evident placidity and good nature. She seems to know who she is, though she has no need to tell anybody. She tells the therapist her husband and her son's father died when her son was seven, and this may have traumatized him. Her, pehaps not so much? But the self discovery trajectory surely isn't entirely avoided. The fortune teller must provide food for thought, and the visit with the son's therapist too. Surely there is some "finding herself" in these two encounters.

    But many questions are left unanswered and even unasked, and as Beatrice Loayza also says, not much happens. This is a genre of "gentle" festival film that provides background for viewer mediations, the gathering of a peaceful mood. At the heart of this mood is Anke Bak. In seeming to listen to her nature, and even delve deeper through the medium of the Chinese fortune teller, Bak may have provided through fiction what he was originally planning to provide in record, non-fiction form.

    Wood and Water, 79 mins., was screened at home for this review on the occasion of its debut in the MoMA/Film at Lincoln Center series New Directors/New Films (Apr. 28-May 8, 2021). It will be presented at the Berlinale in June.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 05-02-2021 at 11:05 PM.

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    ALEPH (Iva Radivojevic 2021)

    IVA RADIVOJEVIC: ALEPH (2021)


    A PHILOSOPHICAL DISCUSSION IN A DINER IN ALEPH

    A wagon hitched to Borges shoots for the stars

    The title is a nod to Jorge Luis Borges' famous short story "The Aleph", which is one of his many references to the nature of infinity, endlessness, labyrinths, and the illusion of reality. Iva Radivojevic 's Aleph is a travelogue of experience, a dreamer's journey through the lives, experiences, stories and musings of a series of protagonists spanning, the notes tell us, ten countries, five continents, multiple languages. I lost count after a while; it starts with American English, Spanish, and Arabic. Radivojevic lives in Brooklyn but spent her early life, we are told, in the endless libraries of Yugoslavia and Cyprus.

    Borges is a conceptual writer. His stories are not stories but ideas for stories, stories within stories within stories whose brilliance is so great he is a main reason for John Barth in the late sixties writing about "The Literature of Exhaustion" - that is, a literature in which all ideas have been thought of, and therefore exhausted. It's a high-concept, self-reflective, post-modern fiction and Borges was in some sense the last word, and yet he is loved for that. He is one of the great masters. He can wipe out a whole genre with a two-paragraph sketch.

    The Aleph in Borges' conception is a dot - in Arabic it is the first letter, and a straight line, which can also be the beginning of any word that starts with a vowel - and within that dot is all things, all scenes all angles. It can also be a line of wood, in it too is all things.

    Iva Radivojevic's "Aleph" starts with this high ambition, but Borges is a big name to hitch your wagon to. Having scenes in multiple languages turns out not to work very well, and the film winds up feeling anecdotal and, worst of all, pretentious and moody, or in the case of several interchangeable young women, one Slavic, another Indian, depressed and pouty. This is not a kind of world-weariness that impresses. A young bedouin man who dances and asks big questions in Arabic dialect creates a better impression. He has energy and humor. But after a while it all begins to blur. The "wildly eclectic" and multi-national New Directors/New Films collection doesn't need to pile on further eclecticism within an individual film whose sequences are simply tacked together in the hopes that the result will seem complex and profound. Perhaps her high concept will bear better fruit another time.

    Aleph, 90 min., debuts at New Directors/New Films 2012. It was screened at home for this review.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 05-03-2021 at 07:31 PM.

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    APPLES (Christos Nikou 2020)

    CHRISTOS NIKOU: APPLES (2020)


    ALIS SERVETALIS IN APPLES

    Looking for a past, a present, and a future in an amnesiac world

    Mention has been made of the Greek Weird Wave and Nikou worked with Yourgos Lanthimos on Dogtooth, but he has his own voice in this philosophical sci-fi film, and it's a humanistic one. Yes, this is a kind of pandemic setting, or more like an epidemic, of amnesia, in Athens. But the focus isn't at all on a collective event, which is only background. Mainly we are interested in Aris (Aris Servetalis), aka Number 14842, a gloomy bearded man, who is found on a bus at the end of the line having forgotten where he was going, and his name, and everything else. This is a familiar situation, it turns out: he's taken to the hospital's Disturbed Memory Department where there are plenty like him.

    After days or weeks pass and no family members claim him, he's set up to build new memories of his own, supplied with an austere, empty apartment, and a woman in charge of the unclaimed and her bearded, bossy cohort give him instructions delivered to him in his mailbox periodically on cassette tapes. Dutifully following these, he does things like go to bars, buy apples, dance, have anonymous sex, ride a bike (nobody forgets how to do that, remember) and - essential to the program - takes Polaroid photos of himself doing these various things, thus accumulating new "memories" that he puts in a snapshot album.

    Also he meets a woman at a movie, Anna (Sofia Georgovassili), who's amnesiac too, in the same program. She has more Polaroids, and thus appears to be a little ahead of him. On the other hand he seems to be getting real memories back maybe better than she is and, after all, this is a pretty Mickey Mouse program they're in anyway. One big thing is that he's quite a good cook. He knows how. Oddly however we mostly see him only eating apples, though one day he switches to oranges when the grocer says they're said to stimulate memory.

    On a night out at a club, following a taped instruction, with Anna, he gradually starts dancing, and gets better and better. It's "The Twist." (This film is determinedly retro, and not at all realistic. The way Servetalis does this gradual dance reawakening is hilarious and nicely modulated. ) He seems to avoid chances for sex with Anna. Maybe he just doesn't like her; or maybe he is remembering somebody else, someone important and real. Another effort is to find emotional memories by attending to the mortally ill at a hospital and then going to their memorial services, and this leads to a memorable surprise.

    The simple, golden-brown-toned, boxy-formated, warmly austere way this film is presented contributes to a very specific mood, suggesting when you've got nothing you've still, after all, damned well got something. Somewhere in there is your humanity. This is the quality that most appeals about Apples, though it is sometimes undermined and loses pace midway due to a sallow, slack quality, expressed directly in physical poses and facial expressions adopted a lot by Servetalis early on. This down-at-the-mouth-ness links the film more with George Orwell than Charlie Kaufman. Sequencing of events can also seem a little random at times. But these are small reservations. Apples is distinctive and works. Nikou is a significant new talent with a story to tell and a sureness about telling it. This is a new angle on the existential modern dilemma.

    Apples/μήλα, (Mila) 91 mins., debuted at Venice Sept. 2020. Twenty other important international festivals are listed including Toronto, Zurich, Hamburg, Chicago, Mill Valley, AFI, Tokyo and Miami. Screened at home for this review as part of the MoMA/Film at Lincoln Center series New Directors/New Films (Apr. 28-May 8, 2021). Metacritic: 81%.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 05-06-2021 at 02:31 AM.

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    ROCK BOTTOM RISER (Fern Silva 2021)

    FERN SILVA: ROCK BOTTOM RISER (2021)


    VOLCANO IMAGE FROM ROCK BOTTOM RISER

    This short experimental documentary feature packs in a lot about Hawaii

    Rock Bottom Riser, whose subject is Hawaii, is Portuguese American Fern Silva's first feature, an experimental documentary that it's been said Werner Herzog would be proud to have made - which seems quite true though this is in no way derivative work. It's a short film, only 70 minutes, but packed with information with many twists and turns that work fine because they're all part of the complexity of a subject that encompasses indigenous people, white colonialism, science vs. native craft and art, cluelessness, stoner nuttiness, spectacular lava from live volcanoes, and a surfer sailing in on a long easy wave. The natural scenes, especially the volcanoes, make this clearly a film designed to be spectacular on a very large screen though many will have to see it in the largely virtual New Directors/New Films this year. There are texts, there are speeches, there are scenes of deep unperceived absurdity, all this so concentrated that second viewings would be beneficial.

    "...Silva catapults us through a fiery wormhole, runs us through a forest glimpsed in infrared (shades of Predator), and allows us to glide above the Earth as fiery magma belches out of the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii and flows around a small village like a river of fire, as a burbling Carpenteresque synth score fills the soundtrack. And that’s just the first five minutes of this at once playful and serious avant-garde documentary, which offers a consistently unpredictable survey of Hawaiian history, culture, and political issues..." (Keith Watson in Slant)

    From NotMattDamon on Letterboxd:
    "this documentary has everything
    cool nature shots
    A Simon and Garfunkel deep-cut
    hard to decipher science
    vape tricks
    Dwayne the rock Johnson
    Dramatic monologues."

    More from Keith Watson:
    "The film puts particular emphasis on the tense interplay between Western notions of scientific inquiry and indigenous rights, with the battle over the proposed construction of an astronomical observatory on top of Mauna Kea—the most sacred site in native Hawaiian culture—serving as a focal point. The Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT), as the project is known, is positioned as both a colonialist substitution of indigenous modes of inquiry and a Trojan horse for the further displacement and carceralization of native Hawaiians."

    If it works, when you're done watching all these things are whirling around in your head: the sweet, clueless lady and her middle class white class sitting to learn about the "poetry" of Paul Simon's "I Am a Rock": we hear the song and watch the rapt listeners, but are spared the explanation. At the "Volcano" vape shop we watch a spectacular display of smoke vaping and smoke-ring making by a trio of regulars, and this comes after a lot of volcano footage so the overlap is doubly or triply trippy. The "cool nature shots" resonate strongly with the issue of indigenous sacred land that is particularly intense in Hawaii and Silva's underlying motivation.

    As Watson hints, and the Letterboxd list notes, there is some pretty incomprehensible professorial blackboard-jotting talk about stars. But there is another talk with a heavy French accent that justifies space exploration and future colonization as well as I've ever heard it done. A seduction? Dwayne Johnson, also often seductive, we see here distanced, a shot of him on a TV screen on a wall, as he unconvincingly and repetitively claims objections to his upcoming playing of King Kamehameha are being nicely sorted out.

    Which of these and the various other pungent sequences you will like best or find most significant will depend on you and may change on subsequent viewings. They are all there, they all fit, and there is an admirable avoidance of cliché in the choices. Even the final surfer sequence feels fresh because it's so simply shot. Werner Herzog, take note. This is a film that's both passionate and witty. Promising work.

    A FSC-Harvard fellow, Fern Silva is a faculty member at Bennington College. He received his BFA from Massachusetts College of Art and Design and MFA from Bard.

    Rock Bottom Riser, 74 min., Color, 5.1 Sound, Super 16mm/35mm, debuted in Paris at Cinéma du réel in March 2021. It also showed at the Berlinale in March in the Encounters section, receiving special mention. Watched online at home as part of its US debut in New Directors/New Films.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 05-06-2021 at 02:26 AM.

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    MADALENA (Madiano Marcheti 2021)

    MADIANO MARCHETI: MADALENA (2021)


    PÂMELLA YULE IN MADALENA

    Repercussions of the murder of a trans person in Brazil's Centro Oeste

    Madiano Marcheti takes an overlooked issue and makes it more haunting by indirection. A body is "found" (by the camera) at the outset in a vast soya field where it's doubtless been dumped. It is the corpse of Madalena, a young trans woman. Brazil has more than twice the number of trans murders than the next Latin American country, Mexico. But while the film points out Brazil's terrible trans statistic in a closing caption, Marcheti isn't interested in the "issue" simply as such or the police procedural aspects of the narrative. The film doesn't explore the murder. Instead it quietly follows brief periods in the lives of three people indirectly touched by this event but unrelated to each other. The fluency of the filmmaking, the perfect pitch of the scenes, are what make this an impressive, memorable, and formally audacious debut. Unlike the proverbial pistol that must be used if it is introduced in the play, a corpse need not be explained but will nonetheless greatly heighten the focus and tension of what follows. And the apparent unconcern about this individual death is itself a pungent comment on a widespread and terrible problem.

    The film establishes how vast the soy fields are. It turns out they have been consolidated in the hands of a single agribusiness family, but that's not explained. We see the plants waving in the wind and big agricultural machines to work them. But men have to go through doing something by hand (picking weeds?). Overseeing the whole thing is a veritable cloud of drones (to check on the men, perhaps?) and ironically looking, as if spying, groups of rheas, flightless birds with long waving necks and long beaks who seem to be scanning the horizon, enigmatically looking for trouble.

    Marcheti doesn't have to connect the three parts because they're not connected; that's the point; but they have a rising and falling dramatic arc with sharp internal contrasts. They start out cheerily with a portrait of the local population with its poverty, pursuit of pleasure, and sexism; move on to a unique individual whose special connection to the event heightens tension to a high pitch; then taper off with a comrade of the deceased who is sad but philosophical, and, after all, pursuing her own pursuits, but by her nature more affected - and endangered - than others.

    Luziane (Natália Mazarim) is a pretty young cis gender woman who works as hostess at a noisy club called Texas. Her primary concern about the disappearance of Madalena is that the latter owes her money, and she is struggling to pay for her new Vespa-style motorbike. Young men surround her and vaguely menace her. She has to get tough with a wise-ass young "bro" who tries to park his vehicle in front of the club, and she stands watching a group of showoff "bros" doing flashy wheelies with their bikes. She actually gets into Madalena's little pad and hunts for money. We learn the farm workers live in rows of tiny cement hovels.

    Jump to the other economic extreme, Cristiano (Rafael de Bona), a tall, good looking, but not very secure young man whose father owns the whole vast farm and from whom he expects to inherit it, and whose mother is in politics with an election coming. It appears that he visits the farm every day and oversees what's going on, while he must field over-critical and over-demanding calls from his absent father. His discovery of the body puts him in a state of panic. This is bad for the farm and could be ruinous for is mother's election. It is his responsibility to hush it up but he doesn't know what to do. He can't tell anyone about it, not even his friend Gildo (Antonio Salvador), who he wants to have help him. His father's call demanding he start harvesting that night leads him to escape into vaping and drinking, and, thus fortified, he takes Gildo out to the fields but there is no understanding. There's excellent buildup of tension throughout this sequence and, if you are identifying, you are seeing how totally everything, for Cristiano, revolves around Cristiano.

    Last we spend time with Bianca (Pâmella Yule), a young trans woman who revisits Madalena's abandoned house with younger trans friends and they each gather up some possessions as mementoes. Later Bianca goes on an outing with two friends. Does Madalena appear as a ghost to her? (She believes in flying saucers.) There is a feeling of homage or farewell, but also that they are not lost in sorrow. It's over. It happened. But the stream they bathe in has the air of being a place where you might meet up with crocodiles or snakes. It's a symbol of the danger trans people, particularly trans women of color, live in everywhere, not just in Brazil. But with Marcheti, what impresses is an ability to drop into lives with astonishing quickness and confidence, relating them effortlessly to a larger, and complex, situation. Use of the whole milieu, the unforced portraiture of the Centro Oeste region, is assured and impressive, too.

    Madalena, 85 mins., first showed, in progress, at San Sebastiàn Sept. 2019, and debuted at Rotterdam Feb. 3, 2021 (virtual). Screened at home for this review as part of the MoMA/Film at Lincoln Center series New Directors/New Films (Apr. 28-May 8, 2021).
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 05-06-2021 at 01:54 AM.

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    RADIOGRAPH OF A FAMILY (Firouzeh Khosrovani 2020)

    Firouzeh Khosrovani: RADIOGRAPH OF A FAMILY (2021)



    A life in Iran told with reinvented photographs and dialogue

    This is certainly an interesting and, for a non-Iranian, surprising family. Basically the older father of the filmmaker marries his younger wife from a distance, because, he says, he can't take the time away from his medical studies in Switzerland, where he's been for years training as a radiologist. The future mother's marriage ceremony is performed with a portrait photo standing in for the groom. The bride then comes from Iran to Geneva to live with her husband. He is liberal and secular and she is a hijab-wearing devout muslim. Maybe his commitment to liberalism wasn't 100%. Maybe he has a tendency for self-sabotage.

    She is never happy with living in the secular, western environment, though she does apparently learn French, calls her husband "misyew," and for a while gives up the veil. After she gets pregnant and then suffers a severe back injury while skiing (to please her husband), she prevails upon him to return to Iran. (X-rays of the mother's damaged back further carry out the radiology theme.)

    As little Firouzeh grows up, mom takes charge. She becomes a follower of a radical Islamist leader and this empowers her. When her husband asks to return to Switzerland because it's too dangerous in the chaos of revolutionary Iran, mom refuses. She takes over the school teaching job of a teacher expelled by the Islamists, and is so successful she becomes the principal.

    To fit revolutionary ideals, the spacious house is stripped of silver, glassware, paintings, and lampshades. We don't actually see this, of course. The filmmaker uses a big living room throughout like a stage set, moving things around in it to suggest how the family lifestyle changes. This is only one way the film is fanciful, not literal, in its presentation of information. But more of that later. It gets weirder. The house is used for religious banquets. Mother gets military training and goes off to the front during the Iraq-Iran war. She makes sure father silences his Bach (western classical music is not approved, never was, for her) and listens to it on headphones. Somehow they seem to remain in the same house. One day the father dies, in his last time still listening to Bach on his headphones.

    In his Hollywood Reporter review, Stephen Dalton calls this a"stylized documentary," and "an elegantly composed mosaic of real events and artfully restaged memories." The trouble with this method, for me, is that after a while one doesn't know which photos are authentic and which ones are artfully faked. Is the elderly lady at the end, sitting in that symbolic room and frailly reciting with a Qur'an, the filmmaker's mother? There is no way of knowing. At that point it would hardly matter. She is used symbolically. Unlike factual documentaries of lives, this one does not interrogate living people or in any way allow them to speak for themselves. Firouzeh's mother and father speak almost entirely in invented dialogue read by actors.

    Another problem is that there are never ages of people given or dates for events. By looking up on Google, I found out that the funeral in London of the Islamist revolutionary that the mother goes to by herself was in 1977, but we don't know how old Firouzeh was then. It would certainly have been nice to know how old the mother and father were when they married. Probably the disparity was dramatic and the mother was a teenager. More importantly one would like to learn a little more that's specific about events in Iran.

    And finally, this film tells us almost nothing about the filmmaker growing up at the time when this story is happening. What did she feel? Apparently she sided with her father and was largely ignored by her mom. What kind of school did she go to? What was her life like? What were her sorrows and joys? Where does she live now and what is her life like today? It turns out all those stylishly recreated or invented films and snapshots leave big gaps in a story that remains very impressionistic. Perhaps this reflects Firouzeh's remoteness from both parents, growing up.

    In contrast one thinks of Persepolis, the four-volume series of Bande dessinées (French comics) published 2000-2004 by Marjane Satrapi and the lively film version (NYFF 2007) made in collaboration with Vincent Paronnaud with the voices of Chiara Mastroianni, Catherine Deneuve, and Danielle Darrieux for the main women. Satrapi lived through the Iranian revolution and left Iran for good, for France, in 1994, at twenty-four. Her focus is on her own constantly changing ideas, growing up, spurred by the waves of Islamism and a Marxist-Leninist uncle. She is lively and outspoken, goes to French school in Vienna for a while, has sex and experiences the double lives the bourgeois Iranians were living. There is more about external events and when things are happening. Firouzeh's film weaves its own magic, I suppose, but it leaves me feeling hungry and makes me feel uncomfortable, even depressed. Persepolis is meatier stuff. It's fanciful too - it's a graphic novel, after all - but you feel the presence of real people.

    Radiograph of a Family, 82 mins., debuted at Amsterdam Nov. 2020 (two awards) and has been included in over half a dozen other international festivals including Goteborg, Sofia, Hon Kong and Jeonju. Screened at home for this review as part of the MoMA/Film at Lincoln Center series New Directors/New Films (Apr. 28-May 8, 2021).
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 05-06-2021 at 02:03 AM.

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    SHORT VACATION ( Kwon Min-pyo & Seo Han-sol. 2021)

    KWON MIN-PYO & SEO HAN-SOL: SHORT VACATION (2021)



    Snapping the world's end with a plastic camera

    Jake Cole describes Short Vacation in his review for Slant as "an austere, poignant reverie about life's promise." You might see it that way, but on the face of it, this little film focused on four teenage girls is not so much "about" anything. The young filmmakers have made a film about four Korean junior high girls. Their names are not changed; they are just "being themselves" in a constructed, improvised slice of life. Early sequences show them with their teacher, Mr. Kang, who heads their photography club. It hasn't yet led to any photography. Seeking to remedy this, before school lets out for the summer he gives them each a throwaway 35mm. film camera loaded with a roll of film and tells them their summer vacation assignment is to use these to take pictures of "the end of the world." It's a challenge to find a symbolic scene or image that leads to a day and night together when the girls get to know each other better, have some quiet fun, and take some pictures.

    These scenes are largely improvised. What do the the girls learn? You'd have to ask them. This is a movie about nothing - the hardest kind to describe. It is the sum total of many little non-events that add up to a feeling of hanging out with four Korean teen girls, all in the same class, three who knew each other and one newbie who fits quickly in. Its extremely low key naturalism is what it has to offer. In that improvisational, hanging out style it may capture what it would really be like in the company of these four girls. . . hanging out.

    They get along together very well, forming two compatible pairs in a harmonious quartet. Their "end of the world" project resolves, somehow, into the decision to try to take the Seoul subway to the end of the line. Maybe that will have an "end of the world" quality This is what leads to their adventure, which is to get a little lost and wind up, in the rain, too far from home to go back that evening. They decide reluctantly to sleep at an empty senior center. It becomes a sort of pajama party where they sit up talking much of the night, especially about their grandparents.

    There is no "end of the world" - no setting that gives off that aura for the girls. The end of the line has turned out to look a lot like every other station, so they take a hike further in search of a more remote one. They find restaurants, old folks, dogs, and a cat and after trying to escape the rain but then, it being a hot summer day, give up and enjoy getting wet. There is no epiphany, no tragedy. The worst thing that happens is that one of the girls disappears for a while (she is feeding a cat) and their smartphone batteries run out and they can't recharge them. When they realize it's too far and too complicated from the subway main line to get back in the dark and rain, they show some concern about the building they are going to stay in. Will somebody come in? Is it too "gross"? But they don't show much concern about their parents worrying. They think they can just be "pitiful" and say they were lost and they'll be forgiven for being out all night.

    Thus is this film structured to avoid all drama even when drama might loom. The aim seems to be simply to put the four girls together, away from other influences and people so we can hear them interact. Their silly, trivial conversation becomes a stream of young consciousness, a dial tone of placid adolescence. You must learn to praise this film for being so uninteresting, so uneventful. Because anything else would have distracted from its aim.

    Short Vacation/Jong chak yeok79 mins., debuted Mar. 2021 in the Berlinale's Generation section, also in festivals at Busan and Seoul. Screened at home for this review as part of the MoMA/Film at Lincoln Center series New Directors/New Films (Apr. 28-May 8, 2021).
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 05-06-2021 at 07:10 PM.

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    WE ARE ALL GOING TO THE WORLD'S FAIR (Jane Schoenbrun 2021)

    JANE SCHOENBRUN: WE'RE ALL GOING TO THE WORLD'S FAIR (2021)



    Perhaps a calmer look at online obsessions

    Focused on a lonely young woman stuck in her attic room playing an internet game, Jane Schoenbrun's film seeks to depict the way in which for some, mostly of the younger generation, obsession with the online world can seem to veritably suck away the soul - figuratively speaking, I hasten to say. That this is a frightening, disturbing prospect is an impression augmented by focusing on an online game developed out of horror movies. The actress playing this person, the voluntary victim, whose name is Casey, Anna Cobb, has a sort of deep involvement in her role and an open, childlike face that many reviewers have commented on favorably, predicting a future for Cobb. Unfortunately there is no escape from the fact that the film itself is stultifyingly boring, dreary and uneventful. Some have noted that it makes 85 minutes seem like quite a long time.

    The use of webcams and smartphone cameras for the images offers a new direction for variety in film images, appropriate for depicting this kind of world. Use of these media in film seems not very hopeful for those who value sophisticated visual technique and aesthetics; but you never know what an inventive new eye can do with a different medium. Sean Baker's debut of Tangerine, six years ago, was a sterling example. It sparkles, the look enhancing the lively personalities depicted. And it was shot with no professional or even quality amateur lenses but nothing but three iPhone 5s cameras.

    The phone images were enhanced, though, using a small battery of cool modern tools: the FiLMIC Pro app, a video app to control focus, aperture and color temperature and capture video clips at higher bit-rates; and, importantly, an anamorphic adapter for widescreen imagery. The digital tools underfunded, minimalist filmmakers have at their disposal today are a main way that they can produce attractive results with economic means. Schoenbrun isn't interested in that however but in suggesting the dreary, limited technology unsophisticated online geeks are satisfied with.

    At the outset the film takes eight minutes of us in effect staring through a webcam disturbingly alone with Casey - who would want to be such a person? Who would want to be stuck with her? The effect is "real" in having no feeling of being edited or being a real film made for an audience. But this is the kind of "realism" that is achieved at the terrible cost of boring the pants off of us. The saving grace: it's creepy. And the "point" is that Casey is announcing her signing up, though whatever that means exactly wasn't clear to me, for the "World's Fair Challenge," which is billed as the internet's "scariest horror game."

    This game is further depicted as altering participants in frightening ways, such as making one guy unable to feel his own body. But though Casey seems creepy and sad in her isolation from human, live society and her lack of apparent affect, she appears relatively bright and cheery describing what she's about, going out in the snow with her webcam (leaving her room a potentially hopeful sign) and declaring, matter-of-factly, "I love horror movies and thought it might be cool to try living in one."

    I fell asleep after that, figuratively, as the leaden pace continues, though it is clear Casey dons some kind of horror mask, and connects with an older man who creepily follows her, directing her to film herself sleeping and then obsessively watches her, though in the end he seems concerned for her well being. Reviewers have commented favorably on the fact that all this does not lead to some kind of gruesome apocalypse; that the film depicts an internet-obsessed life as more routine than outsiders might think, and less harmful, if not ideal for developing young minds and bodies. But as the film concludes, it seems this world - not so different from the online chat rooms of the eighties, by the way - can easily become a hiding place for a young person in need of psychological help, and not getting it this way.

    I asked myself if this could constitute a viable "High Maintenance" episode and I had to say not.

    We Are All Going to the World's Fair, 85 mins., debuted at Sundance Jan. 2021. Screened at home for this review as part of the MoMA/Film at Lincoln Center series New Directors/New Films (Apr. 28-May 8, 2021).
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 05-06-2021 at 12:38 AM.

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