One of the great joys of attending a film festival is seeing something purely because it works out for that time slot, only to have it end up being one of the best you’ve seen all year. I almost didn’t even see Güeros. I’d been up until about 3 A.M. the night before, and was very much still reeling from Inherent Vice when a wrong number woke me up a little before 9:00 on Sunday morning. I could physically make it to Güeros, but I wasn’t sure I could give it that much of a fair shake, and anyway, what could possibly follow up Paul Thomas Anderson’s insane opus?
Well, trudge I did, and rewarded I was.
For those invested in the visual arts, the thought of losing one’s sight is an unimaginable horror. In addition to the deprivation of one of the sense we rely upon most to simply get around day to day, an entire, key way of interpreting that world would also be lost. There is, thus, an undercurrent of horror in Eskil Vogt’s directorial debut, Blind, which examines a few weeks in the life and imagination of a recently-blinded woman. Vogt made his mark on the international circuit by writing co-writing Joachim Trier’s first two features, Reprise and Oslo, August 31, but his own directorial debut could not be further removed from those toughly-wrought naturalistic dramas.
A Most Violent Year. Not the most violent year. Just one of many; perhaps consecutive, perhaps cyclical. Though it only takes place over a month in the New York winter of 1981 (statistically, one of the most crime-ridden periods in city’s history), writer/director J.C. Chandor’s third film is intensely concerned with the weight of the past, and the allure and danger of the future.