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Ruben Amar and Lola Bessis, codirectors of Swim Little Fish Swim (June 20, Wythe Hotel) A Teacher by Hannah Fidell (June 17, Nitehawk) is one of the movies we’re the most excited about seeing at Northside. It was selected with our film at South By Southwest and at Maryland, but we never managed to see it, even though we really wanted to. We heard so many good things about it and, in particular, about the performance of Lindsay Burdge. Lindsay worked on the castings for Swim Little Fish Swim and brought really great people, so we’re sure she’s an amazing actress, too! Also we really recommend “#PostModem” (June 18, Wythe Hotel), a short film that we saw at SXSW and couldn’t stop thinking about since then; it’s such an amazing work: weird, poetic and powerful!
Jonathan Goodman Levitt, Follow the Leader
(June 20, Videology)
What a far-ranging and forward-thinking program! Films aside—rare screenings of landmarks Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One (June 17, Nitehawk) and David Holzman’s Diary (June 20, UnionDocs)! Innovative shorts “Amateur” (June 18, Nitehawk) and “Flo” (June 20, Videology)! The new Michael Winterbottom (June 20, Nitehawk)!—I’m actually most excited about the wonders promised by the NExT Conference (June 13-14), which is bringing together such an impressive list of our city’s creative business community. If the most recent creative destruction of our already fledgling documentary industry in the wake of the recession has taught me anything, it’s that we as filmmakers and creatives need to reimagine ourselves as entrepreneurs if we’re going to build lives around our art. Thanks to Andy, Jaime, Kyla, Tiff and the rest of the Northside team for organizing such a remarkable line-up that looks guaranteed to inspire!
Brandon Harris, Curator of Hammer to Nail’s program (including Joy de V., June 18, Wythe Hotel)
Nicolas Provost’s The Invader (June 20, NItehawk) is an inspired immigration nightmare, a dark howl in the night, a movie as seductive as it is illusive. It’s the first feature from Belgian video and installation artist Nicholas Provost; I first heard about it in Rotterdam, after it had been in Toronto and Venice, but it never wound its way Stateside in the year-plus since I first encountered it, so I’m happy it’s landed at Northside. It opens with a shot of an open vagina on a rock strewn beach before depositing us in the Invisible Man-like hell of an African immigrant (Issaka Sawagogo, a keeper) in Brussels who more or less washes up to shore in the same shot. Next we meet him in the city, where he’s part of an illegal labor force doing dangerous contract jobs, but after an altercation with a crime boss he’s out on the street, hustling away, when he spies a pretty blonde executive (Stefania Rocca) whom he charms into bed. Quickly insinuating himself into her life, he can’t overcome his anxieties and resentments about European culture and his own lack of a place in it; much consternation and a bit of bloodletting ensues in a way that leave the wages of colonialism, of sexual and racial domination, all up in your unsuspecting brain.