Isabella has films within films, plays within plays, and people within people. As in its central mise en abyme, the director creates an abyss of rhyme and recurrence. His mode of adaptation works reflexively, where these layers upon layers lead to a sense of collapse.
The actors interpret their often dense monologues with an admirable naturalness and, perhaps more importantly, truly work to convey the act of listening. In many ways, the work of Puiu in guiding the actors through the genuinely demanding material is a more impressive achievement than the heightened realism of The Death of Mr. Larazescu.
A documentary about the 9to5 women's movement and an unsung Linklater drama paint an urgent portrait.
At the Museum
We’re trying out something new this week, and switching to Wednesdays. Same time: 5:00pm. Now you can use Reverse Shot to help you get over the midweek hump! Next week, we are pleased to welcome The Criterion Collection's Andrew Chan and Metrograph's Aliza Ma.
In this nonlinear narrative, which abruptly, frequently jumps back eight years in time to glean moments from Sibyl’s former life and love, choppy scenes have the effect of disorienting, painful memories resurfaced, like picking up the disordered pieces of diary pages torn to bits.
A 1959 postapocalyptic melodrama with Harry Belafonte and a recent domestic portrait set in 1960 have this week’s pair of writers thinking about displacement in America.
This is a distinctly contemporary American hellscape, but if Charlie Chaplin and Jacques Tati were socially aloof within environments of cold modernity, O’Malley’s outcasts can barely communicate as they navigate a world corroded by mediation.
“Documentary, through its earliest forms, is a colonial concept. The white man appears and then because he is the master, he unveils the story the way he sees it. He, literally, becomes the seer,” says filmmaker Marjan Safinia who, for the past 20 years, has been collaborating on documentaries.
This plague is in no way biological or scientific; it is profoundly subjective and insurmountable. Seimetz stresses the inexplicable nature of the belief by depicting it as a sort of neon Protestant visitation that appears to each successive victim, rendered by cinematographer Jay Keitel as a hypnotic light show.
The corrections center actually functions as a reprieve for many of these women, who went from abusive childhoods straight into abusive marriages when they were as young as 12. The fact that a male filmmaker is let into this world shows their trust of him.
Two writers dive into the deep, red waters of genre and wade through issues of racial and gender othering.