2 items from 2017
Childhood abuse affects its victims in myriad and often abstract ways. The disparate images and mysterious female voiceover that provide Travis Mathews’ “Discreet” its illusory opening do eventually come together, like the concentric cycles of abuse and pain experienced by its woeful protagonist, Alex (Jonny Mars).
A drifter and filmmaker, Alex travels the country in a dark blue van shooting footage of highways. On a passing visit to his unstable mother, he learns that the man who abused him is living in a small cabin on the outskirts of the rural Texas town where his mother lives. Seeking out the older man, Alex finds a severely incapacitated John (Bab Swaffar), complete with an involuntary twitch in his left arm and a vacant stare.
John is a ghoulish cartoon of a predator; even in his weakened state, his fluffy white beard, ruddy red nose, and lanky frame tower over Alex. Facing »
- Jude Dry
In the months leading up to the 2016 presidential election, there was a sharp national focus on modern masculinity and how it’s supposedly threatened by rising forces in identity politics. Travis Mathews explores that idea in his new film ‘Discreet,” about an eccentric drifter who returns home after years in hiding to discover that his childhood abuser is still alive. Soon he plots his revenge while he navigates an uncomfortable landscape. Check out an exclusive poster for the film below.
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“‘Discreet’ began as a moody cautionary tale,” says Mathews, “a nightmare warning to what discretion — in its many forms — might bring. Over [the summer of 2015], then into 2016, crystallizing with the Us presidential election, it became increasingly clear that the monster built from years of fear mongering was no longer under anyone’s control. Unhinged, it would answer to no one, »
- Vikram Murthi
2 items from 2017
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