ROUND-UP January 18-31, 2019

"The bulk of “Standing of the verge of…” is taken up with uniformly bald humanoid figures, who veer from relatively cleanly delineated to semi-abstract and almost ghoulish. Exaggerated, cartoonish, they press and wrap and twist around one another, dripping into a range of yoga-inspired poses, blending into the background. Occasional shadows cast by these writhing bodies are drawn outwards, expanding into flat black vaguely-human silhouettes—haunting specters that mingle amongst the cacophonous mass, sometimes shifting from negative to positive space."
"During the opening credits of John Ignatius Green’s 2018 documentary Social Animals, a delicious, ironic mood is set by a montage of the most popular and over-used categories of Instagram posts. We see the classic Plane Wing Photo, the Girl’s Legs in the Bathtub Photo, the Girlfriend Pulling Her Boyfriend Along on Vacation Photo, all nearly identically staged regardless of who is posting them. Not only are these repeated images dizzying, but the montage is set to a song about marching to the beat of one’s drum, naturally. This juxtaposition is funny on its face, but points to the gradual homogenization of how people express themselves online–not by being unique or original, but by how well they conform to established visual templates."
"What you see on the screen is undoubtedly influenced by Wes Anderson’s hyper-stylized, whimsical settings and symmetrical staging. The film’s palette is limited to the pale turquoise of the family car, the sky, and the yellow-gold-brown of the dusty ground; Sailboat’s school and other surroundings are often rendered in varying shades of turquoise and yellow, creating a sense of warmth. Nugent uses plenty of wide shots that capture the parched, harsh beauty of the tumbleweed-strewn ground. Some of the film’s dialogue comes across as inspired by Anderson’s wordy, expositional patter, but Nugent livens up the formula by dealing in unabashed sincerity."