ND / NF ’09 Trailers: From Parque Via to We Live in Public

ndnf-20091It’s our third and final round-up of video ephemera from the New Directors New Films festival! Today’s line-up features both critical excess and opprobrium. Parque Viabrings back the ND/NF09 stand-by, the slighted servant. Then there’s misery in the Chinese badlands, alienation in America’s BBQ capital, a hot blast of neo-neo realism in South Korea, bedsit bathos in London town, and finally a jolt of futureshock from the director of DiG!

Parque Via (Enrique Rivero, 2008)

If someone came up to you saying, “It’s Jeanne Dielman, except God exists!”you’d be tempted to attach them to the nearest jukebox and throw it in the East River. But when that person is Keith Uhlich of Time Out and you imagine him looking like this and you realize he’s referring to this film, it’s possible to forgive. An old servant loses their rag (and presumably their routine) when the house gets sold.

Dixia de tiankong/The Shaft (Zhang Chi, 2008)

The Shaft takes place in the kind of dead-end mining town that’s crying out for a Chinese Springsteen to write a song about it. Zhang’s film instead traces three interlocking stories, one of which involves terminal lung disease. The New York Times‘ Stephen Holden calls it “rigorously structured”; the Village Voice‘s Nick Pinkerton calls it a “taciturn, scientifically composed art snoozer.”

Stay the Same, Never Change (Laurel Nakadate, 2009)

When female victimization is combined with the floating life of Kansas City youth you get “the same crap we’re used to from the Yalie” (Ed Gonzales) and a “ready-to-frame processional of Weird Americana” (Pinkerton). They don’t think these are good things, meaning there’s a good chance the film is essential. Music by Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, y’all.

Treeless Mountain (So Yong Kim, 2008)

Highlighted in A.O. Scott’s “neo-neo-realism” survey, Kim’s second feature follows two young sisters as they are palmed off from relative to relative. As mom looks for the husband who abandoned them, the young entrepreneurs alternate suffering with selling roasted grasshoppers. For the Voice‘s Melissa Anderson, it’s “one of the best films about childhood ever made.”

Unmade Beds (Alexis dos Santos, 2009)

A man and a woman occupy the same space, but remain oblivious to the other’s existence, in the capital of young despair, East London. “A romanticized vision,” sniffs Holden. Just picked up by IFC Films.


We Live in Public (Ondi Timoner, 2009)

The director of the fantastic DiG! turns her camera on Josh Harris in this documentary. Flush with dot-com millions, he created an experimental living space on lower Broadway where everybody is on candid camera, 24-7. Turns out J.G. Ballard could have scriptedthe results. Timoner will talk about her Sundance prize-winning film and why you should close your Facebook account at the Prince Street Apple Store on April 4. See here for more details.

Can’t get enough? Then treat yourself to a perambulation through the first two installments:

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One Response to “ND / NF ’09 Trailers: From Parque Via to We Live in Public”

  1. Olivia Vaganov Says:

    I recently came across a blog post that discussed Laurel Nakadate’s current exhibit at the Leslie Tonkonow gallery: http://wink-blog.com/2009/06/22/three-exhibits-worth-seeing/. Has anyone been to see it?

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