Paying attention to minor characters constitutes not just an act of care for them but a whole difference in epistemology. This insight is core to Jill, Uncredited, a 17-minute short directed by Anthony Ing that splices together scenes of 78 films featuring background actor Jill Goldston from her half-century-long career.
Does folklore come to us or react to what we give it? Mami Wata, C.J. “Fiery” Obasi’s third feature and the first by a Nigerian filmmaker to premiere at Sundance, is principally concerned with the meaning and scope of the stories we pass to each other.
The River Is Not a Border retraces the events of 1989 with an attentive but unobtrusive hand. Diago casts his participants not just as subjects but as storytellers, resulting in a film guided more by memory and feeling than historical fact or cinematic flair.
Jeanne Dielman asserts the importance of its subject while also asking us to reconsider what we look for in—and how we look at—a movie. We inhabit what feels like a simulation of real time, confined except for the occasional errand, to the interior of 23 quai du Commerce.
The focus on the packaging and commodification of these plants and vegetables demystifies the agrestal fantasy of so many of our products. At first numbing, Ortín’s images of rote mechanical production begin accruing a subtlesense of dread, appearing as an unbroken and uncaring process.
Our Body, one of the best documentaries I have seen in years, silenced the murmur of any externalities the moment it started, maintaining its quietly firm grip on one’s attention through every startling moment of its nearly three-hour running time.
A terrible event occurs, which would send most families into spontaneous combustion, but in true Fukada fashion, everything quietly implodes, and everyone is left to grapple with things in messy, dirty ways that feel truer to how our hearts and brains function.
Romvari and Xu are compassionate image-seekers, yet they also subtly interrogate the systems surrounding their subjects.