3 items from 2017
“Gemini,” directed by Aaron Katz from his own script, centers on the relationship between a tenacious personal assistant (Kirke) and her Hollywood starlet boss (Kravitz). As the assistant travels across Los Angeles to unravel the mystery, she must stay one step ahead of a determined policeman, played by Cho.
“Gemini” is Katz’s fifth feature as a writer-director. He previously co-wrote and co-directed “Land Ho!” with Martha Stephens, which premiered at Sundance in 2014, and won the 2015 Independent Spirit John Cassavetes Award. Katz also directed “Cold Weather, »
- Dave McNary
A satisfying mystery usually involves more engagement from various puzzle pieces than the way they fit together, and Aaron Katz’s playful L.A. neo-noir “Gemini” falls right into that tradition. It pits the elements of a scrappy whodunit against the backdrop of film industry satire, keeps us guessing the whole way through, and arrives at a solution that’s beside the point. Revisiting the genre innovations of his 2010 feature “Cold Weather,” Katz delivers another minimalist addition to the canon of shaggy dog detective stories stretching back to “The Long Goodbye,” filtered through his own indelible poetic gaze.
At first glance, Katz’s movies are slight character studies with little to offer beyond endearing situational humor and a complimentary atmosphere. His first two features, “Dance Party, USA” and “Quiet City,” were delicate mood pieces in which plot took a backseat to a handful of emotionally-charged exchanges. With “Cold Weather,” Katz »
- Eric Kohn
Over the past decade, South By Southwest has become 10 days of hand-to-hand combat between media and technology. Nestled within that war zone is a film festival — this year, 125 features screen at the SXSW Film Festival, including 51 from first-timers. Most come to town without distribution, and they may never see a bigger audience than this one.
The film festival is a solid platform for discovering new filmmakers; if you want to explore the connective tissue of contemporary American cinema, few other places offer such a fertile arena. Unlike industry heavyhitter Sundance, it’s not a fast-paced marketplace — but the SXSW conference is still one of the biggest windows into the future of the movies because so much of it has nothing to do with the movies at all.
This year, SXSW Film’s marquee titles duke it out with the TV shows in the Episodics section. (Among its premieres are two »
- Eric Kohn
3 items from 2017
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