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1 item from 1996

Film review: 'Gravity & Grace'

9 December 1996 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Experimental filmmaker Chris Kraus' first feature, "Gravity & Grace," is a double dose of existential rumination, with two distinct parts and an unconventional narrative structure. The project is playing for a week in Laemmle Theatres' "American Independent Films" series at the Grand in L.A..

The title refers to girlfriends Gravity (Kristin Seth) and Grace (Ani O'Neall), college girls turned team prostitutes. The former seems wiser and more responsible. The latter has beauty and confidence. They pick up easy money and cross paths with a doomsday cult.

The New Zealand/U.S. indie co-production initially focuses on Ceal (Jennifer Ludlam), a lonely, bitter Auckland woman who has concluded that "feelings are shit." She meets a charismatic UFO guru (Alan Brunton) and is soon passing out fliers on the street, prophesying a coming flood and a savior for those who believe they will be rescued by extraterrestrials.

Grace becomes a member of the cult for her own purposes and to be near true believer Ceal. Angry at Grace's involvement with Ceal's kooky group, Gravity is brought in when the faithful expect a calamity and imminent contact with an alien ship.

Jarringly, the scene shifts to New York several years later, with alone trying to make it as a sculptor.

Ludlam, Seth and O'Neall give strong performances. Revelatory moments counter Kraus' borderline pretentiousness in the film's disappointing latter half.


Lonely Girl Films

Writer-producer-director Chris Kraus

Director of photography Mairi Gunn

Production design Denise Kum

Editor Stuart M. Rankin

Music Chris Abajian



Gravity Kristin Seth

Ceal Jennifer Ludlam

Grace Ani O'Neall

Dr. Armstrong Alan Brunton

Running time -- 88 minutes

No MPAA rating


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1 item from 1996

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