I am a fan of Mike Carroll films. A true student of Cassavetes, his style is one that allows his actors lots of freedom to explore and to instinctively play off of a situation, which oftentimes leads to moments of real truth. He is one of the few that has the courage to do this kind of film-making, because he is so well-versed in the "laws" OF film-making. Year is a perfect example of the free-form sub-genre that is so constantly attempted by filmmakers. Only Mike pulls it off, whereas other lesser filmmakers don't because they lose focus on the story's through-line. Relationships are real in Year and several characters (like Bonnie Bennett and Erik Wheeler) breath authenticity into moments that more times than not would have been handled amateurishly. If you want a film with about real familial relationships in multiple levels of disrepair, Year is for you. The whole cast is solid, and Mike's cinematography is, as usual, priceless. If you also want a lesson in do- it-yourself-film-making, then there's yet another reason to buy YEAR.
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