Review: ‘The Afterlight’

'Afterlight'

Four women cross paths during eclipse in Craig Macneill and Alexei Kaleina's "The Afterlight."

Four women of different ages and persuasions cross paths in haphazard patterns during a solar eclipse in Craig Macneill and Alexei Kaleina’s rustic tone poem “The Afterlight,” where cryptic images of ominous beauty, held together by pure surface tension, exert a strange fascination. Unlike Kelly Reichardt’s pastoral “Old Joy,” “Afterlight” proceeds without much discernible plot or character development, its objects and places exuding more backstory than its people, though Rip Torn as the father of the sole male protagonist lends a certain woodsy authenticity. Bowing Sept. 10 at Gotham’s Quad, the pic’s determinedly noncommercial, purely pictorial charms are dimmed by poor projection.

No “Steel Magnolias”-style celebration of regional femme bonding, “Afterlight” captures disconnected women — a bored city blonde, a young, blind basket-weaver, her careworn aunt and a preteen dairy farmer’s daughter — who register more as isolated mythic figures than intersecting characters, their occasional close encounters setting off instinctive hostility. Clandestinely exploring each other’s houses in crosscut primal invasions, the pic plumbs feminine mysteries beyond male ken, the eclipse’s fading light inching across the landscape as if nudged by fluxes of estrogen. Evocative HD photography suffers from a shoddy Beta-SP transfer.

The Afterlight

Production

A Wintersea Films production. Produced by Alexandre Fuchs, Pegah Easton. Co-producers, Alexei Kaleina, Craig Macneill. Directed, written, edited by Alexei Kaleina, Craig Macneill.

Crew

Camera (color, HD), Zoe White; music, Nathan Matthew David; production designer, Chloe Lee. Reviewed at Quad Cinema, New York, Aug. 24, 2010. (In 2009 Rome Film Festival.) Running time: 87 MIN.

With

Jicky Schnee, Ana Asensio, Michael Kelly, Rip Torn, Morgan Taddeo, Hoda Pauley.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading