310 Great Directors: Julia Loktev

“It’s funny because a couple of people have absurdly accused the film of a very reductive form of feminism—using “feminism” as insult, which I find problematic—but I was actually more afraid of it being seen as an anti-feminist backlash! So you can see it from either perspective. For me really it’s a film about confusion… and about love.”


Why This Director?
: I generally wanted to avoid the smallest of small filmographies, but Loneliest Planet was so good that I could not wait for DNDN.

My Last Experience Was…: The Loneliest Planet, one of 2012’s very best..

What Did I Watch: Day Night Day Night.

Where Does She Fit: We open on a very tight closeup of the unnamed female protagonist’s head. She is whispering very quickly. Is it a prayer, or is she just reading from a book? What is she saying-it’s hard to understand her, and only a few select phrases can be parsed. The fact that Luisa Williams has never done another movie and her character is referred to as She in the credits only adds to it. Things get really weird when after a few minutes of nothing being said and us just watching our character hang around the shower and clip her nails, she goes outside and is immediately called and told not to do that again. What? Everything gets even more off when she puts on a blindfold and handcuffs (in that order, which prompted a nervous giggle) and waits in the bathroom on their orders. It becomes obvious what she is planning to do within a couple of minutes, but the execution of what happens at the end of the titular cycle is a nightmare, tedium giving way to indifference on all ends. Do we want her to pull this off or not? What is going to happen if she does? Loktev needs to make a third film stat. (You get this on the same day as the Jarman writeup as a bonus due to how small her filmography is.)

day-night-day-night

Most Valuable Asset: Slowly escalating terror.
Most Excited For: I guess there’s her documentary, but really, make something new!

Coming Up Next: Perennially underrated American independent John Sayles.

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