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Benjamin Mercer

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Raw Directed by Julia Ducournau Opens March 10 A credible candidate for the midnight-movie canon, the French film Raw, the stylish feature debut by 33-year-old writer-director Julia Ducournau, makes liberal use of Grand Guignol gore to tell a relatively modest (if twisted) story of female adolescence. The film, which opens with a mysterious car crash, soon retreats to the more mundane horror of finding something in your food: The 16-year-old Justine (Garance Marillier) sits down with her...
The Human Surge Directed by Eduardo Williams Opens March 3 at the Metrograph With The Human Surge, a debut feature that defies categorization and other expectations besides, the Argentinean director Eduardo Williams has done nothing less than attempt to rewire narrative cinema for the information age. It’s a testament to his talent that he so often succeeds. Adopting the relay race as a structuring principle, Williams immerses the viewer in three successive environments—teleporting, as it were, from...
Lovesong Directed by So Yong Kim Opens February 17 at the Village East Back in the simpler times of 2009—after the adult drama had become the sole province of the art house, and right before the moderate social anxiety of mumblecore gave way to the practically baroque aggression that distinguishes many of today’s microbudget features—A.O. Scott took to the pages of the Times magazine to identify an emergent “neo-neo-realism” in American independent cinema. One of the filmmakers...
The Island Funeral Directed by Pimpaka Towira February 9-15 at MoMA The three young travelers at the heart of the Thai road movie The Island Funeral have a strong sense of where they’re going, leaving behind central Bangkok for the far-southern province of Pattani, yet they still manage to seem lost every step of the way. Indeed, director Pimpaka Towira opens her fluid but occasionally plodding second feature (and her first in more than a decade) with...

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