It is a movie about making movies at the same time that it is a movie about how we consume them. It is a somber commentary on the ways black people try to grasp greased rungs on a ladder to temporary success while also an indictment of the ways people of color try to mold themselves into torturous shapes in order to fit in.
Note the staging of his scenes here, how people almost always have some physical object between them as they share increasingly intimate details about their lives, or how that physical object, like a plate of freshly cut apples, can be used to close distance in the presence of silence.
There was a fair amount of expectation for this year’s Midnight selections to contain the next iteration of meaningful, shocking, or gossip-inspiring titles that could also be talked about as layered, complex examinations of real-world issues.
This year there wasn’t as much awkwardness in the form of glitchy, poorly synced Zoom interviews, as one might have expected, though the same can’t be said for the sometimes verbose, overly grave ways that some filmmakers talked about their projects.
Seriousness is often likened to pretentiousness, which is often a sort of veiled criticism, at least when talking about movies. It qualifies everything a given film isn’t (fun, humorous, irreverent), while also overstating what the movie actually does or tries to be.
In battling with paranoia and insomnia, and trying to make sense of the world, two writers go down separate wormholes—of an Australian faux-documentary horror movie and a Jacques Rivette tumble into conspiracy.