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Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Julia Loktev's "Day Night Day Night"

There's no doubt that filmmaker Julia Loktev makes quite an impression with her debut feature "Day Night Day Night," which shows off her expertise at oblique storytelling and subjective suspense. Yet the bigger questions of why "Day Night Day Night" exists, and what tensions it's capitalizing on cannot be ignored. An artfully minimalist take on a world exploded into maximal fear and loathing, Loktev's tiny-budgeted digital video follows a nameless girl (Luisa Williams) of unspecified ethnicity as she arrives at Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City and begins preparing for a suicide bombing mission। All this information is disseminated in a clinical, dispassionate tone, maintaining a strict point-of-view from shot to shot. Stranded with the girl, whose hollowed, haunted eyes are our only moral barometer in this bare, beige world of seedy hotel rooms and city streets, we're forced to adopt her perspective, while also, due to her anonymity, remaining wholly outside of her emotional experience.
[A from Reverse Shot.]

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