December 28, 2018
CieloDecember 28, 2018
Documentary / 2018 / 78 minutes
For as long as humankind has existed we have looked to the night sky for inspiration and spiritual guidance, and it is this universal longing that filmmaker Alison McAlpine captures so compellingly with her 2017 doc Cielo. A love-letter to stargazing, McAlpine’s lyrical film concentrates its gaze on the sky over the Atacama Desert in Chile, a dazzling window to the stars that, thanks to its remoteness, allows celestial bodies to be seen that cannot when obscured by the lights of civilization. Utilizing time lapse photography and kaleidoscopic shots to capture the grandeur of the vista, as well as observations from desert residents, scientists, “planet hunters” and others, McAlpine – with an invaluable assist from cinematographer Benjamin Echazarreta – crafts a humbling, poetic ode to the vastness
WildlifeDecember 28, 2018
Drama / 2018 / 104 minutes
It was only a matter of time before someone gave Carey Mulligan a role that truly showcases the breadth of her talent; thankfully fellow actor Paul Dano has done just that with his directorial debut Wildlife. Working from a script co-written by Zoe Kazan – a fine actor in her own right – Wildlife details a son’s view on his mother’s struggle to assert her independence in 1960s small town Montana when she suddenly finds herself the head of the household. To realize this portrait of a pre-women’s lib American family Dano is aided by a trifecta of brilliant leads; Mulligan as the focus and soul of the piece, Jake Gyllenhaal in the husband/father role, and newcomer Ed Oxenbould proving to be an indispensable find as the young son through which the story is processed. The sad-eyed sensitivity Dano brings to his roles is felt in his filmmaking, a low-key, dream-like atmosphere that gracefully allows the actors to carry the drama through the sheer power of performance.