The mind bending triumph of a young cinematic genius
Where to start. That this film makes no conventional sense is beside the point. It's a film that celebrates the by-passing of sense in favour of the synaptic firings of wild imagination and a profound affection for the power of imagery. Julian Baner has written and directed a beautiful calling card announcing his arrival as a serious auteur. Viewers looking for the usual pablum of rom-com or horror formulas won't find what they want here. But cineastes would do well to relax and enter into his puzzling but gorgeous world, safe in the knowledge that they are in the hands of a director who knows what he's doing.
Shot in black and white, with DOP Karim Dakkon giving a masterclass in film photography, this is a feast for the eyes. The camera moves and tracking shots are straight out of the Hitchcock playbook and his meticulous approach to shot design is a reminder that the job of the camera is to photograph light, not furniture.
The soundtrack is formidable, all the performances, led by the compelling Bry Reid, are brimming with authenticity, and the whole collaborative result left this viewer with enormous gratitude that we have here a filmmaker unafraid to make a serious cinematic statement - and succeeding with an apparently effortless grace and natural authority.
To say that his signature is reminiscent of David Lynch or Jim Jarmusch misses the point. Julian Baner is an original. I can't wait to see what he comes up with next. Highly recommended.
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