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New York Film Festival 2021 Night 2 (for me):

« Did you see who was here? » (my phone refuses to use quotations or I’m just technologically inept) THE LOST DAUGHTER & RED ROCKET. Wednesday night was an accidental double feature (if you want to see something at a film festival, i cannot recommend the standby line enough if you can’t get tickets initially - sometimes you don’t get in, but sometimes you do). The audience was abuzz because these were two buzzy titles and a lot of famous people were in attendance either for their films or to support their friends or family. And the audience was alive with excitement at both prospects. I say famous people (not just actors and directors and people who worked on the film) because you got the feeling that the fame element was the draw for a certain chunk of the audience - no judgment - I’m the first person to get excited over someone - but it’s an interesting thing that occurs in the world we live - fame obsession overtaking. Just a thought. Now, the work. HOLY SHIT, these two films. They will both be talked about into next year and awards season. Gyllenhaal’s film feels like the cousin of so many other great pieces of art, but is entirely it’s own. It’s exquisite - written and directed beautifully, and the cast is dynamite. In the Q and A (which I photographed crappily -not a word - and felt genuinely weird about but my OCD compelled me to do so - see, fame is entrancing?), Paul Mescal did an embarrassed impression of Maggie Gyllenhaal directing (adorable) and Dakota Johnson cheekily told Olivia Coleman, « you’re not the boss of me » (fuck, why can’t I use quotations on my phone). Baker’s film could not be any more different from the former, but they made for an incredibly thought-provoking double bill last night. First of all, Simon Rex! In the way that the former film focused on Coleman’s character (present and past), Red Rocket is trained on Simon Rex’s character, and, to me, he typifies America - obsessed with the dream, but hobbled by human folly. These filmmakers show real people, warts and all - both films are about what humans do because, they’re, well, human. I could go on... but for once...

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