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Author: Tanner Tafelski

An Economy of the Gaze: An Interview with Camilo Restrepo

Camilo Restrepo is a late bloomer, creating works that are tactile and impressionistic, whether focusing on the fraught history of Colombia (his home country) or the worlds of the living and the dead for a small band of African émigrés in France. At the age of 36, he shot his first short, “Tropic Pocket,” (2011) a handcrafted, poetic ethnographic work consisting of original and found footage that scrambles four imperialist narratives in the Darién Gap region of Colombia’s Chocó Department. Since then, Restrepo has made up for lost time, crafting one work roughly each year. His initial films capture...

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Stuck in a Rut—Brigitta Wagner

Indiana rarely gets screen time in movies. Aside from Illinois, and Chicago in particular, which has been home to countless films, directors tend to pick other states around the Great Lakes. And yet, a few Indiana films leave a mark on the collective consciousness: the biopic based on the iconic Notre Dame football coach, Knute Rockne, All American (1940); the other Notre Dame biopic, this one about football player Daniel Ruettiger, David Anspaugh’s Rudy (1993); the other Anspaugh film about high school basketball, Hoosiers (1986). In recent years, David Cronenberg set his critical crime film, A History of Violence...

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Metal Martyr—“Jeannette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc”

In the past few years, Bruno Dumont has gotten goofy. Long gone is the sober and severe Dumont of The Life of Jesus (1997), Humanité (1999), and Twentynine Palms (2003). Filled with bold colors by DP Guillaume Deffontaines, stylized performances from actors and non-actors, and flirtations and mutations of genres (a murder mystery, a musical) — Li’l Quinquin (2014) and Jeannette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc (2017) are some of Dumont’s best work yet. The latter of which is a Joan of Arc movie unlike anything before. Throughout film history, directors — Gallic and non-Gallic alike — have...

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Heavy Traffic: Melanie Shatzky and Brian M. Cassidy’s Interchange

In Interchange (2018), the persistent sound of cars whooshing by on the looming concrete slabs of the titular infrastructure connecting ramps, entrances, and exits for multitudinous highways overshadows lives lived in the near vicinity. Brian M. Cassidy and Melanie Shatzky’s feature is a kind of ecology of people and places around an interchange located around the outskirts of Montreal. Premiering at the 2018 Berlinale Forum, Interchange marks the filmmakers’ first feature since their 2012 narrative film, Francine. Working together for roughly ten years now, these micro-budget and truly independent filmmakers have created a body of work that is at...

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Monstrous Mom: Ana Urushadze’s Scary Mother

Scary Mother is a new film that formally sets itself apart from the glut of recent neo-realist cinema emerging from Georgia. Taking a different aesthetic tact, the film uses a bold expressionistic color palette, architectural details, and psychological acuity to mind the depths of a story about a housewife shirking her responsibilities in order to write her first book, to the consternation of her family. By setting her film apart from the rest of the country’s cinematic landscape, and using a seasoned cast and crew, Ana Urushadze (daughter of Tangerines director Zaza Urushadze) has made a first feature that...

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