In partnership with Factory 25.
During the month of May Filmatique presents American Indie II, its second collection spotlighting among the most daring filmmakers working in American independent cinema today.
Nathan Silver's Exit Elena portrays a young live-in nurse as she becomes increasingly enmeshed in the emotional tapestry of the family that employs her. Alexandre Rockwell's Little Feet traces an enchanting journey through Los Angeles, seen through the eyes of a young brother and sister making their way from Echo Park to the Pacific, while Sophia Takal's Green charts a topography of a woman's fragile, jealous mind when ensconced with her boyfriend in the bucolic hinterlands of upstate New York. Alex Ross Perry's The Color Wheel navigates the acrid temperaments and contentious dynamics of two cynically entangled siblings as they road-trip through New England.
Featuring the debut film of up-and-coming female director Sophia Takal, two films shot on black-and-white celluloid, and negotiating themes of family and fragility, gender and class, community and isolation, Filmatique's American Indie II navigates journeys both physical and psychological— passages through ambivalent terrain, movements toward a trembling if uncertain future.
Exit Elena, Nathan Silver / USA, 2012
Elena is a 19-year old woman with no place to call home. After obtaining her nursing license she quickly lands a job as a live-in aide for the Akermans, an ostensibly normal middle-class family. There Elena finds herself at the epicenter of quotidian crises and dramas that afflict each member of the family, from the grandmother to the cat. Yet soon she establishes an equilibrium— roughly the same moment Nathan, the family's only child, makes his pilgrimage back home.
Starring both the director and his mother in leading roles, Exit Elena navigates the complex layers of familial relationships and female loneliness with both humor and heart. Nathan Silver's second film premiered at Edinburgh, Vienna, BAFICI and Cucalorus.
Little Feet, Alexandre Rockwell / USA, 2014
Lana and her brother Nico wake up one morning to find one of their two goldfish dead. After a makeshift funeral they discover they've missed the bus to school, and thus embark on an odyssey from eastern Los Angeles to the Pacific Ocean where they will set the other fish free. Along the way the siblings encounter situations both exhilarating and frightening, attuned to the magical underbelly of their urban milieu and, ultimately, the cathartic rush of waves.
Charting a luminous journey through hidden geographies of contemporary Los Angeles, and shot entirely on black-and-white 16mm loose-ends, Little Feet evokes the winsome prism of childhood discovery and resilience amid loss. Alexandre Rockwell's ninth feature premiered at Toronto, Vienna, and Mar del Plata, where it won the Special Jury Award. Little Feet was also selected as a New York Times Critics' Pick.
Green, Sophia Takal / USA, 2011
Unsatisfied with their life in New York, Genevieve and her boyfriend move to the country where Sebastian, a journalist, can work on his latest project. Bored and neglected, Genevieve spends increasing amounts of time with Robin, a local woman with whom she forges a friendship. Sebastian gets along with Robin quite well too, however— fueling a rivalry between the two women through a terrain of suspicion, envy, and insecurity.
Cocooned in a lush atmosphere of indeterminacy, Green weaves a portrait of the female psyche both subtle and haunting. Sophia Takal's feature film debut premiered at AFI Fest, Raindance, Maryland, SXSW, where it won the Emerging Woman Award; Philadelphia, where it won an Audience Award - Special Mention; and Denver, where it won the Emerging Filmmaker Award.
The Color Wheel, Alex Ross Perry / USA, 2011
JR is a jobless and newly-single twenty-something woman with dreams of reporting the weather on the news. She shows up at her younger brother's house one day to seek his help collecting some old boxes from her old professor-turned-lover's apartment, not wanting to confront him alone. Thus JR and Colin commence a road trip through the fog-shrouded highways of New England, running into old schoolmates they would rather avoid and plunging into the vicissitudes of a family history they'd sooner forget.
Peppered with sanctimony, humor and outright hostility, The Color Wheel plots the course of two despicable siblings on an unlikely journey to forgiveness. Alex Ross Perry's second feature film premiered at Sarasota, Locarno, Vienna, BAMcinemaFest and Chicago Underground, where it won Best Narrative Feature Film. The Color Wheel was named best undistributed film of the year by the Indiewire and the Village Voice.