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May 21, 2021 / barton smock

(further sayings toward further films

Robert Machoian's The Killing of Two Lovers captures the vastness of being lived in and knows to leave unnamed that thing that crawls toward the skin with its history of being chosen last and sent first. Clayne Crawford is upfront about his character's distance, and has something so informed physically coursing through his and another's person that even pain would need a moment to look away. Sepideh Moafi and Chris Coy, with Crawford, also bring their bodies into moments that need possessed, and make an already alien gut check of a film into something distilled and movingly abducted.

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Danny Madden’s Beast Beast is a film of spaces both dedicated and random, and of a time not sure if it’s escaping or being told to leave. Its DIY beginnings resist plot but then succumb, and if its more local parts seem an ill fit for the smallness of its universal body, it does well in the wounds of opera as it interrogates exhibition with display and asks performance whether the lines have been said wrong or were they just given to the wrong person. While Will Madden gives his character just enough nothing to own, Shirley Chen and Jose Angeles come separately from another movie that becomes this movie and they take root in that brief claim.  

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Psychologically patient, Kourosh Ahari’s The Night is a knockout of a horror film that follows a couple and their child long enough that something behind us begins to live with the guilt of being temporary. With the dual portals of imagery and language, the performances by Shahab Hosseini and Niousha Jafarian go from ghost to ghost, barrier to obstacle, knowing that a shallow grave is deeper than a jump scare and that one eye is never surprised there’s a second. 

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