Dismantling the documentary at Sundance 2022

1/29/2022 10:27:00 PM

At Sundance 2022, three films interrogate the process of documentary filmmaking and the power structures that are reasserted and queered in the making of them

Sundance 2022, Documentaries

At Sundance 2022 , three films interrogate the process of documentary filmmaking and the power structures that are reasserted and queered in the making of them. Sundance2022

At Sundance 2022 , three films interrogate the process of documentary filmmaking and the power structures that are reasserted and queered in the making of them

Something in the Dirtis a formal and thematic departure into darker territories, resulting in their most ambitious work in the smallest scale yet.After a series of supernatural events involving a crystal ashtray and a closet that refuses to close, two strangers Levi Danube (Benson) and John Daniels (Moorhead) decide to create a documentary as proof of their experiences. While it begins as an attempt to prove and profit off of what they witnessed, it transforms into a character study of the amateur documentarians. Benson and Moorhead deliver their best performances yet as their friendship and skepticism reach its climax, especially as inconsistencies in each character’s backstory surfaces – with Levi having a string of criminal records that perpetually keep him wanting out of Los Angeles, and John profiting off his ex-husband and spending his time and resources in an apocalypse-believing church.

Read more: Rappler »

Two Filipino films win awards in Sundance Film Festival 2022Don Josephus Eblahan's 'The Headhunter's Daughter' and Martika Ramirez Escobar's 'Leonor Will Never Die' each bagged an award in the Sundance Film Festival 2022.

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But Something in the Dirt is a formal and thematic departure into darker territories, resulting in their most ambitious work in the smallest scale yet. After a series of supernatural events involving a crystal ashtray and a closet that refuses to close, two strangers Levi Danube (Benson) and John Daniels (Moorhead) decide to create a documentary as proof of their experiences. Written and directed by Eblahan, the film is about an aspiring country artist who went to the city to join a televised singing competition. While it begins as an attempt to prove and profit off of what they witnessed, it transforms into a character study of the amateur documentarians. Naglabas na ng pahayag ang CVM na nagsasabi na ang kanilang video ay non-partisan. Benson and Moorhead deliver their best performances yet as their friendship and skepticism reach its climax, especially as inconsistencies in each character’s backstory surfaces – with Levi having a string of criminal records that perpetually keep him wanting out of Los Angeles, and John profiting off his ex-husband and spending his time and resources in an apocalypse-believing church. Escobar's film follows a retired filmmaker who suddenly becomes the hero of her own unfinished screenplay after a near-death experience. Something in the Dirt manages to obscure the boundaries between science fiction and reality, paranoia, and genuine fear, truth, and misinformation to create both incredibly comedic commentaries (e. The pageant aims to promote young women, as well as their passion and their accomplishments, and to empower women to develop personal growth, leadership, self-confidence, and friendship.

g. 30. Makikita sa video ang naka-superimpose na linyang, “Miss Universe Venus Raj. subpar reshoots and arguing over film titles) and genuinely haunting moments (e.g.. eerie radio recordings and mutated plant fruits). Nilinaw ng organisasyong. The editing mixes footage of the duo with childhood photographs, excerpts from the dark web, reenactments of the paranormal occurrences, and interviews from pseudoexperts and post-production team members. On her recent birthday, Zosa shared her blessings with The Missionaries of the Poor Little Lambs, a home for the destitute, physically and mentally handicapped children, and those with cerebral palsy, autism, and Down’s syndrome.

When it reveals itself to be constructed as an elaborate and endless Matryoshka doll, it accentuates how documentaries can only approximate even our most absurd and most intimate experiences. When it seems that the film delves into increasingly tangential territory overloaded with conspiracy theories straight out of QAnon, what emerges as the true subject are the voids the duo attempts to fill in clinging onto each other and the artistic process. In witnessing the familiar struggle to find purpose and place, Something in the Dirt accentuates the humanity of both Levi and John, even as their beliefs and actions are continuously questionable. Questioning performance and truth in ‘Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul .

’ Adamma Ebo’s Honk For Jesus. Save Your Soul . finds her expanding the world she created in her entertaining and surprisingly emotional short film of the same name. Former heads of a prominent Southern Baptist megachurch, Trinitie Childs (Regina Hall) and Lee-Curtis Childs (Sterling K. Brown) attempt to bounce back after a scandal that rocked their congregation: one which forced them into legal settlements and several personal crises.

In the hopes of rehabilitating their reputation, they agree to be filmed by an award-winning documentary team as they prepare to relaunch their services on Easter Sunday. Unlike the short film, the feature does not only focus on the couple’s attempt at a redemption arc but, instead, zooms out to peer into the lives of those affected by the controversy: from anonymous callers on radios debating on whether the allegations against Lee-Curtis are true to the founders of Heaven’s House (Nicole Beharie and Conphidance), a new congregation who have benefitted from the fall of the Childs. Many of these tethers are ultimately unnecessary, but the portrait of the community provides the Childs’ an external force through which they seek to simultaneously be validated and freed from. Hall carries the film as she reels in every doubtful look with a smile, later cracking under the mounting pressure of unconditionally supporting her spouse in a monologue for the ages. The power of the mockumentary lies in its ability to satirize situations and exaggerate cliches until they become clear commentaries on performance when under observation.

But the narrative and formal structures of Honk For Jesus. Save Your Soul . often betray its goals. By revealing its cracks too early and presenting judgments of the characters before we are fully introduced to them, the feature doesn’t leave enough room for the Childs’ to be likable. In doing so, it fails to mimic the betrayal of trust that the congregation itself experiences – one that it did so perfectly in the short film.

And though the switches in aspect ratios are meant to reflect the differences between the real and performed lives of the Childs’, these often derail the narrative buildup and continuously lower the stakes. Despite the problems, underneath the comedy, Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul . posits many invaluable questions concerning Black Southern Baptist culture and religion as a whole: How does one atone for one’s sins? What sins can be forgiven? Are there limits to marriage? What separates true faith from blind idolatry? And, most importantly, how do you make the truth convincing? Until the very end, Lee-Curtis and Trinitie wrestle with these questions, often left to wait for answers that will likely never come. – Rappler.

com @jaseybel Jason Tan Liwag is an openly gay scientist, actor, and writer. As a film critic, he is an alumnus of the IFFR Young Critics Programme 2021, the FEFF Film Campus 2021, the Yamagata Film Criticism Workshop 2021, and the CINELAB Workshop 2020 and has served as a jury member for film festivals locally and internationally. .