3 items from 2012
There'll be a party following the single screening of Bad Fever this evening at the Downtown Independent Theater in Los Angeles. Nick Schager, originally for the Voice, now in the La Weekly: "Writer-director Dustin Guy Defa's stark indie trains its character-study gaze on Eddie (Kentucker Audley), a socially dysfunctional 20-something who — while living at home with his dour mom (Annette Wright), hanging out in empty diners and entertaining stand-up comedy dreams by recording anecdotes on cassette — strikes up a random romance with Irene (Eleonore Hendricks), who lives in an abandoned school and has a fondness for kinky videotaping. Eddie and Irene are kindred misfits in search of some direction and contentment, and if Defa's aesthetics are mundane, his leads' performances are not, especially in the case of Audley, whose darting eyes and hushed, stuttering speech express confused longing with transfixing, train-wreck magnetism."
The New Yorker's Richard Brody: "Defa exerts »
Set in the breathtaking beach environment of Veracruz (Mexico) at a near-dilapidated resort-of-sorts, "Artificial Paradises" is a terrific minimalist experience centering on the unlikely relationship between middle-aged grounds worker Salomón (Salomón Hernández) and young heroin abuser Luisa (Luisa Pardo). Similar to the oeuvre of Apichatpong Weerasethakul and even Andrei Tarkovsky in its sensibilities, Yulene Olaizola's first narrative film shuns plot and conventions in favor of the small moments that make up life.
Salomón spends his days caring for the locale, cleaning the property while smoking massive amounts of marijuana. This continuous pattern of labor eventually breaches the aimless wanderings of Luisa, a lonely resident with an unfortunate dependence on smack. A delicately-played bond quickly forms between the two, with Olaizola substituting laborious conversation for short, honest dialogues that display the amenity they find in one another. After Luisa's supply is nearly tapped out, she recruits her new buddy on »
- Christopher Bell
(Artificial Paradises world premiered at the 2011 International Film Festival Rotterdam before screening at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival. It opens theatrically in New York City at the reRun Gastropub on Friday, March 30, 2012. Visit the film’s official website to learn more.)
Yes, Yulene Olaizola’s Artificial Paradises is about drug addiction. But not only does Olaizola take her time in revealing this agenda, her patient filmmaking and reverence for the gorgeous natural environment in which she shoots keeps that agenda from elbowing its way into the foreground. It’s this gentle approach that distinguishes Artificial Paradises from the rest of the “foreign-film-festival-circuit” pack. This is a minor film, but it resonates and lingers.
Set in the seemingly discarded coastal resort town of Jicacal, Mexico, Artificial Paradises opens with nearly seven minutes of dialogue-free establishing shots. This footage casts such a soothing spell that one would be forgiven for thinking they are »
- Michael Tully
3 items from 2012
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