Growing Up Deadpan 

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Lake Tahoe
Directed by Fernando Eimbcke

Lake Tahoe, Mexican auteur Fernando Eimbcke's quietly assured follow-up to his equally satisfying Duck Season, is a tantalizing anti-bildungsroman which laconically follows a bunch of teens as they cope with grief and angst on a hot summer day.

What make the quirks of the characters in Lake Tahoe so endearing is the unsettling silence that makes up most of the film's soundtrack. There's nobody around and the few that are have already gone off the deep end because of that character-warping quiet. After his car breaks down, Juan (Diego Catano) goes on a quest to find replacements for the elusive "distributor." To get the part he needs, he reluctantly befriends a Bruce Lee-obsessed teenager, a stodgy old man and his faithful dog and, oh yeah, a girl. Isolated in their respective corners of their ghost town setting, they act like they're the last people on Earth — and for we all know, they are.

Filmed at a Jarmuschian pace, Tahoe captures the feeling of being a teenager: one long wait for something to happen punctuated by encounters with obsessed weirdos, clueless adults and a few close strangers and loved ones, most of whom fall into the aforementioned two categories. There's no substantial conflicts, no redemption and no resolution save for a shaky but sufficient peace achieved the end of this bittersweet comedy about growing up inert.

July 10-16 at Anthology Film Archives

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