James N. Kienitz Wilkins

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Wavelengths 2019, Program 4: Full Circle

The fourth, and final, of this year’s Wavelengths shorts programs returned to the curatorial logic of the opening night, bringing together half a dozen disparate sensibilities based on formal, rather than thematic, common ground—in this case, their shared interest in performance. With one exception, the coherence here was more immediate than in the first slate’s buried interest in image production, though the styles of performance deployed across these works bear little resemblance to one another.  The program began with Zachary Epcar’s Billy, a quick, cool sip of Michael Robinson-aid recounting the domestic unease experienced by its eponymous male lead (Peter […]

TIFF 2019, Last Days: Uncut Gems, Atlantis, Jallikattu, This Action Lies

At Marriage Story‘s TIFF premiere, the audience applauded the Netflix logo; a night later, the same happened for A24 at Uncut Gems. The latter makes slightly more sense—rightly or wrongly (no comment), A24 has coherent brand cachet in positioning itself as Art-Fixated rather than purely profit-motivated—but in both cases I felt like I was going mad, and even more so when I heard that the first question for The Lighthouse‘s cast and crew at their first screening was why is A24 is so very special (surely that’s not on Willem Dafoe to answer.) Admittedly, Adam Sandler shaking Kevin Garnett’s hand onstage […]