Italian Studies

Vanessa Kirby as Alina

The (mis)adventures of a writer who suddenly loses her memory in New York City, Italian Studies boldly tries something original with the old “movie amnesiac” formula and swerves the usual mechanics: loss and recovery. Instead, writer/director Adam Leon sets out to explore what it actually feels like to suddenly have no idea of who or what you are. Vanessa Kirby plays the amnesiac author in search of character, a Brit in New York who wanders into a hardware store to buy something, having first tied her dog up outside. Nothing obvious happens while she’s in there, but on leaving, this pretty blonde walks away from the store, leaving the dog behind. She has … Read more

The World to Come

Abigail and Tallie get close

Mona Fastvold’s second film, The World to Come, continues her tick-tocking exploration of timebomb relationships, much as did her first one, 2014’s The Sleepwalker. And like The Sleepwalker, this also toys with the viewer, delaying the explosive payoff until its moment has started to recede over the hill. Has Fastvold been watching Hungarian master miserablist Béla Tarr, I wondered. If so, it might explain the disengaged atmosphere. An early shot, of frontier couple Abigail (Katherine Waterston) and Dyer (Casey Affleck) sitting down to eat a solitary boiled potato, was reminiscent of a scene in Tarr’s final film, 2011’s The Turin Horse, a drama so bleak that it dares you not to titter. Also … Read more