Thursday, June 18, 2015

It Felt Like Love

(Eliza Hittman, US, 2013)

Love and angst in Outer Brooklyn.  The film charts the sexual awakening of a young girl over the course of a torrid summer.  Hittman's eye is wise, sympathetic, and discerning, and her actors are rich finds.  She does an admirable job evoking the heady mixture of anger, lust, and bitterness that is so commonly found in adolescent minds and bodies, and ties it to a specific reality: the working class denizens who populate the outskirts of New York City.  The images reflect the hot, claustrophobic intensity of urban summers, and they linger uncomfortably close on the characters, as if Hittman is charting hormonal changes at the surface-level of flesh.  The editing makes agile associate leaps across moods and places.  Towards the end, a certain schematic takes hold, but Hittman is wise not to make too much of it.  This is the kind of filmmaking that is best when it remains oblique.

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