My next reaction is for a small but notable American Indie with the VERY long title THE FEELING THAT THE TIME FOR DOING SOMETHING HAS PASSED, which had a mixed reaction during its TIFF premiere this year.
About: Writer-director Joanna Arnow brings to her feature debut the singular, acerbic vision she pioneered in her shorts (Laying Out, Bad at Dancing) and her doc, i hate myself 🙂. Her new film follows Ann (Arnow), a woman in her thirties stagnating in a long-term submissive sexual relationship with an older man, Allen (Scott Cohen). In a series of biting vignettes, Ann navigates the millennial trifecta of a dead-end corporate job, the online dating scene, and the struggle to keep the peace with a family constantly questioning her life choices.
Bored sexually and mildly disturbed that few of the people in her life know anything about her — Allen never remembers the college she was attending when they started dating a decade ago, and the employer she’s been with for three years congratulates her on a one-year hiring anniversary — Ann connects with new doms, each with a series of niche yet banal kinks. Eventually, she meets the caring Chris (Babak Tafti), who seems to offer a path towards a conventional and, more importantly, mutually engaged relationship.
My Reaction: With long takes and scenes that intentionally seem to drag out to show the mundane day to day activity of New York life, Joanna Arrow’s first movie is quite revealing about sexuality in mid-life, in which Arrow also bravely bravely plays the lead role as a disconnected woman facing boring corporate work and balancing her sex life which mostly involves being a submissive. The BDSM sequences are pretty unique even to this subject and shown in very explicit detail, and Arnow is very brave in not only showing this type of personality and she is also not ashamed of showing nudity throughout. The style of the picture is also quite minimalist as well with a lack of music score and long takes; it’s kind of slow in stretches and your patience may be tested in a few areas. Still, this is an impressive feature debut for Arnow in many ways, mostly for her fearless dedication to the role. It’s a fairly strong indie picture that I hope plays some more festivals down the line to get more attention, though not sure about the theatrical prospects for this one. Magnolia Pictures has distribution in the US and Mongrel in Canada, and we will update when we know of a release!
Full Disclosure: A screener link was provided by Mongrel Media and Star PR for this reaction review.