With Southland Tales, Richard Kelly asked audiences to deal with the bleakest aspects of their current reality via a tonally ambiguous, hyper-taxing, incomplete narrative. When you look at it that way, even its sub-half-million box office take might sound high.
If there was any tangible loss in a virtual Sundance, it wasn’t the loss of celebrity sightings and frostbitten extremities; it was the loss of a shared narrative on what the week had provided.
If anything unites Gene Kelly's classic musicals, it’s a belief that no past experience could be horrific enough to prevent you from letting loose that whole-human-race encompassing smile and falling in love with life all over again.
In the soft focus of his gaze, Costner shows us a man seeing his own life superimposed onto itself, the uncanny vertiginous struggle to reconcile your existence as someone’s child with your existence as someone’s parent, the effort to locate your own life through triangulation between lives spent and lives just beginning to unfold.
In describing Cooper Raiff’s emergence onto the independent film scene, it’s easy to lean on what sounds like a novelty hook: at just 23 years old, he’s written, directed, starred in, and co-edited a college-set romcom that went on to win the Grand Jury Prize at South by Southwest.
Three seemingly dissimilar works are united by three seemingly diffuse concepts that all lead back to the same place: the unique capacity of film to evoke some of the mind’s most indescribable sensations.
I felt drawn to Stand by Me in a way I had never been drawn to a movie before, longing each day to reimmerse myself in this soft-focused sun-dappled boy’s idyll. But still I wonder: what parts of me did this movie speak to?