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Alex Carnevale
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Ethan Peterson

This Recording

is dedicated to the enjoyment of audio and visual stimuli. Please visit our archives where we have uncovered the true importance of nearly everything. Should you want to reach us, e-mail alex dot carnevale at gmail dot com, but don't tell the spam robots. Consider contacting us if you wish to use This Recording in your classroom or club setting. We have given several talks at local Rotarys that we feel went really well.

Pretty used to being with Gwyneth

Regrets that her mother did not smoke

Frank in all directions

Jean Cocteau and Jean Marais

Simply cannot go back to them

Roll your eyes at Samuel Beckett

John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion

Metaphors with eyes

Life of Mary MacLane

Circle what it is you want

Not really talking about women, just Diane

Felicity's disguise

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Monday
Apr152013

In Which We Do A Few Bad Things First

Deserving

by ALEX CARNEVALE

Top of the Lake
creators Gerard Lee and Jane Campion

Dignity and its absence is not a regularly discussed topic in any form of art. Usually when it is addressed, we view a permanent loss of self-respect, the kind of descent into shit that only happens to older men, since that is apparently the time in which you are supposed to discard any possibility of living with honor. There is no coming back from that.

At one point in Jane Campion's magnificent miniseries Top of the Lake, Robin Griffin (Elizabeth Moss) is hanging out on a little boat with Johnno, the man with whom she began cheating on her fiancee, Steve. He demurs when she brings up the topic of sex, and she responds, "Can't we do a few bad things before we do something good?"

Robin is a detective visiting her hometown of Paradise, New Zealand when a 12 year old girl named Tui (Jacqueline Joe) is discovered to be pregnant. Tui lives with her rough, disgusting family, surrounded by weapons, dogs and cages and a criminal lifestyle that largely ignores that she exists. Robin feels a kinship with the half-Maori girl that goes far beyond gender. She, too, has just left the most recent place she calls home, informing Steve, "You deserve someone better."

The show's primary antagonist is Tui's father Matt Mitcham (Peter Mullan). The sixty-four year old patriarch begins Top of the Lake by accidentally killing a real estate agent he is trying to threaten by dragging him behind his boat in the water. This template for the character says everything we need to know about him - full of menace, devious as he may be, this is someone who often accomplishes the exact opposite of what he is trying to achieve, but doesn't end up paying for it.

In order to threaten Robin when she comes calling to ask about Tui, he puts down a dangerous dog right in front of her with a high-caliber rifle. She is naturally appalled, but it only takes a moment for her to realize that Matt's action itself is merciful, even when all that surrounds it suggests the opposite.

Robin is not really afraid of Matt himself after that. She immediately comes to terms with the idea that the very fact he is not what he seems means is unlikely to be either the father of Tui's baby or the principal cause of her disappearance.

Part of the reason Top of the Lake feels so much more timely than a show it renders amateur hour, AMC's The Killing, is that it shows respect for both sides in the conflict between traditional and progressive ideas.

GJ (Holly Hunter) descends upon a purchased a piece of Matt Mitchum's property with a coterie of women victimized by men, or in one unique case, a chimpanzee. On the surface, she is establishing a support group retreat for these women of various ages.

The portrayal of this assemblage initially verges on satire, but that is only Campion's method for getting the giggles out of the way. Hunter is absolutely magical in this role, and it is a shame they could not do more with her. Mostly she sits in her distinctive chair, elevated slightly, but only slightly, above the rest of her group.

Flowing grey hair to her waist marks a contrast with her perpetually youthful face, and her appearance confuses all who interact with her; as one of her disciplines puts it, GJ "exists on another plane." This indeterminacy too passes, and when she admonishes a bald man who has flown from Shanghai to drop off his daughter with her, we know we are seeing neither hero or villain. 

Robin's first meeting with the long-haired guru is postponed until the series' third episode. GJ threatens her openly, informing her that she will be brought to her knees in a scene where she appears to be telling the detective's fortune. This hits too close to home, feels too familiar.

Robin is busy trying to reinvent the local police department, which maintains an uneasy balance with the impoverished community of Paradise. Her personal life is nothing short of a disaster. Robin's mother is dying of cancer, and she is unable to deal with that either. She never says goodbye to her mother: she only hears a voicemail on her phone.

If the town of Paradise is any indication, tensions between men and women are at an all-time high. Top of the Lake approaches these conflicts from every possible vantage point, swinging the camera high above the lavish natural scenery of New Zealand and close to the anguish of the participants in this drama, when things become most uncomfortable and violent, and then suddenly abstracting us far away again.

For the individual that fights in this war, it is the only way to deal with it and continue living. The remarkable fact is that they are able to go on, with the suggestion being that in some parts of the world, women do not really have a choice, or a retreat.

At first it seems like Robin is dealing with a misogynist roadblock in Al Parker (David Wenham), the resident chief of police. Once we learn the history between them, both of their behavior becomes a lot more complicated. Campion lets this play out over the beginning of Top of the Lake's fourth episode. The scene itself, a simple dinner in an empty house, is made possible by the depth of the performance the director coaxes out of Moss. On her other show, Moss is only permitted the chopped staccato cadence in which something is always being teased, concluded or resolved beyond the actual existence of the characters.

Moss' skills have undoubtedly been improved by her time on stage. She slips into a whole other persona here, not just in how believably she able to shift between the role of victim and aggressor. She also proves this transition can take place in a single moment if we are willing to pay the attention it requires. In this area Top of the Lake shows how inadequate traditional drama can be.

Campion often takes up the stories of children, whose characteristic relationship to the world around them has always been curious to her. It is distinctive that in Top of the Lake, for the first time I can remember, there are not any. Yes, Tui is only twelve. But that means so little to anyone in her world, and we slowly adjust to this reality. There no abdication of responsibility, no protection that comes from whatever innocence is possible in a place like this one. "In nature there is no death," GJ says. "Only a reshuffling of atoms."

Alex Carnevale is the editor of This Recording. He is a writer living in Manhattan. He tumbls here and twitters here. You can find an archive of his writing on This Recording here. He last wrote in these pages about behavioral conditioning.

"A New Independence" - Jamie Woolford (mp3)

"A Framed Life In Charming Life" - Jamie Woolford (mp3)

Saturday
Apr132013

In Which We Moan As He Strokes Our Feet

You can find our Saturday fiction series here.

Host

by ERICA CICCARONE

They start at my feet and have taken over my ankles, my shins, and two of them have grown in my right knee. We hope that there will be no new ones. We hope that they will fall off soon, or hatch.

They are blue-ish beneath the skin, some small as eraser buds and others the size of peanut M & Ms. Some are raised, like mushrooms growing on a rock. Others are partially exposed, like coral. There have not been any more since last week, so our hope is that the medicine is working and soon they will disintegrate. Hopefully, the medicine will also kill the creature that is living inside of me. What I want to know is, what will happen to it after it dies? Will it come out of me somehow? Will I spend the rest of my life harboring the corpse of an egg laying creature?

When we first noticed the eggs, we were in the car driving back home from a long weekend at the shore. I was wearing my rubber duckies and my feet started itching. Not wanting to take off the monsters, I stomped my feet on the floor of the car. I clicked my heels together, slapped my toes against the dashboard.

“What are you doing?” my mother asked.

“My feet itch!”

“Christ, it’s those ridiculous boots. It’s not even raining!”

The possibility that it could rain seemed reason enough to don the yellow galoshes.

The itching changed to burning, like the blood in my veins was actually on fire. I tore the laces out of the boots and pulled them off, threw them onto the backseat. Off came the aquamarine socks. You know when you’re dreaming and in the dream you sort of know that you’re dreaming? That was how I felt when I looked down at my feet. A cluster of six on the right foot and three dotted the left foot in the shape of a triangle. Eggs.

I am getting used to my eggs. I sit on the floor in the living room eating popcorn and watching the game shows. Mom doesn’t want me sitting on the couch. She’s afraid that the eggs might spread, that the creature will somehow move to a new host. Can I blame her? She didn’t want me to sleep in my bed, either, but Aunt Patty intervened and Mom agreed to let me sleep there if I put down a piece of plastic. Obviously, I am not going to school. Nor am I going to ballet class or horse back riding lessons, because we don’t want the creature burrowing into Ginger either.

Because Mom works and she decided I shouldn’t be left home to alone to develop a psychological neuroses about my eggs, Aunt Patty comes by a few times a day. She works from home doing something with computers so it’s not too big a deal for her to stop by. We play checkers or pinochle and she brings me a turkey sandwich with lots of mayo and tomato, the way I like it. We think that the creature entered me in the sea, and because they say that the human body is something like 75% water, it doesn’t surprise me that the creature has chosen me as its host. What does surprise me, of course, are the eggs. They are growing, very slightly but noticeably. I cannot see them growing, but I keep a chart of their progress, their growth in centimeters. Nor do I see a new one emerge. It is as if that part happens very quickly when I am not looking. One minute, I had nineteen of them and Bob Barker was hugging some chubby housewife, and the next minute there were twenty. That’s the count right now. Twenty. I am hoping that this nice, round number will signal a stop to their growth. Aunt Patty said, “Just four more and we can start selling them by the dozen.”

The infectious disease specialist is in New York City, 1300 miles from where we live in Metairie, Louisiana. Mom’s always talking about going to the Big Apple to see “a show.” She pronounces it “BROAD-way.” When we made the trip last week, scraping together the Christmas savings, I felt overwhelmed by the bigness of it, so many people, like my identity could shift out of me and jump into another body, and I would return home at night with the personality of a forty-year old accountant named Barry. There was now something so unique and exceptional about me that I felt full and original and great. I wanted to run down Fifth Avenue.

The doctor’s office was on the Upper East Side, right by Central Park. Before we went into the office, my mother said, “His name is Dr. Dudu. He is from Bangladesh and he is very brilliant. Please do not laugh at his name.” I could tell she was trying not laugh herself. I nodded solemnly, but I was very excited to show Dr. Dudu my eggs.

Dr. Dudu was very tall. He had a thick, black moustache and the complexion of a polished saddle. I was wearing some slip-on sneakers and thin socks, and when I took these off, his face screwed up—not in horror like Mom and Aunt Patty — but with an expression of fascination and rapture, like he had just seen the light of God.

After he interviewed me, examined me, and drew blood, he determined that I had been infected with a creature. You’d think he’d speak in fancy medical terms that I wouldn’t understand, but he didn’t. He actually said, “You have been infected with a creature.”

My mother, who had been standing, sunk her hips into the counter and her hand rose to her throat.

“What?” she said.

“It probably chose Julie as a host when she was in the ocean. You are a very unusual girl,” Dr. Dudu said to me. “This happens very rarely.”

This notion thrilled me!

“Eventually, with treatment, the eggs will disintegrate and the bumps will get smaller and smaller over the next three weeks, until they disappear. But you will have some scars.”

I considered this briefly and shrugged.

“Three weeks!” my mother said.

“Maybe two.”

“Can’t you cut them off?” my mother said.

The doctor cradled my foot in his hand and looked at my eggs. “I would not do that. The eggs are beneath the skin. It would be like cutting into the yolk of an egg — extremely painful for Julie. And the scarring would be much worse. And besides, they would still grow back. They must dissolve naturally.”

“What if they hatch?” I said.

“The medication will kill them. You are not a natural host, so the eggs most likely are under-developed anyway. I will give you an ointment for them, to help the itching. You must not itch them.” He shook his finger at me sternly. “Promise me you will not itch!”

“I promise,” I said. I liked him.

By the time I hopped off the examination table, I felt like I was taking the news very well. But that night in the hotel room, I felt differently. I couldn’t stop looking at my eggs. I began to imagine things. An alien race of creatures would be born from my feet, and they would kill me and my mother and leave the house to take over Metairie, New Orleans, and then the world. Or maybe they were actually bird eggs, or starfish eggs. I didn’t mind the idea of starfish being born from my feet, but wouldn’t it be painful? Where would the starfish go? I would probably have to collect them and take them back to the sea. And then what? Would the creature lay more eggs? According to Dr. Dudu, I would know that the creature was dying because I would experience symptoms of the flu. So now, we’re waiting.

Aunt Patty takes my temperature at lunch time.

“Ninety-eight-six,” she says every day, “and cool as a cucumber.”

I have been drawing pictures of the creature. I like to think that it has many eyes with very long eyelashes, and one of those flagellums. Basically, my ideas are a mix of cartoon monsters and microscopic photographs of amoeba in science text books. I am starting to miss school. When my friends call to find out where I am, I don’t mention the eggs. We decided on walking pneumonia: contagious and long-lasting, no one would try to visit me. “I’m feeling a little better today,” cough cough, “Just weak and,” cough, “tired. I’m so tired, I’m falling asleep on the phone.” I keep up with my homework and have discovered that I can easily get through life and school without teachers. Except that I need Aunt Patty to help me figure out a geometry problem from time to time. Sometimes I take the needle of the compass and press it against an egg, almost to the point of breaking the skin. I wonder what would leak out of it. Like the yoke of an egg. It is sometimes lonely here with my eggs. At least I have the dog. Yesterday, I woke up and the dog was licking my eggs. I haven’t told Mom and I hope the dog doesn’t die.

Three months later the eggs have spread up my legs. We have been to New York twice, mortgaged the slanted house, consulted more doctors and they have all said the same thing: wait. I wait, and I feel like a mother, waiting for a baby to complete the gestation cycle and be born into the world. School is over. My friends have stopped calling. I caught Reggie Boudreaux looking through the window at me as I sat on a towel in the living room, practicing yoga. I went to a specialist in New Age medicine who suggested it. I meditate, cross legged, breathing in and out, sending thoughts away as quickly as they appear. The eggs are large and bulbous now, and there are dozens. I cradle my feet in my hands when I am in full lotus and smooth my hands over my eggs.

My mother has ceased communicating with me. Aunt Patty comes less and less. Even the dog has lost interest in me.

One night years later, my boyfriend Michael consults my feet, which are pockmarked as a prehistoric egg. I have never told anyone the story. I keep my feet as a secret all to myself, something sacred, a thing of something like shame and homage together. But I like Michael. He has scars and burn marks from when he was younger and damaged. But he is better now. We are in our thirties, and it has been many years since the eggs started to fall off. But still, I wonder if the creature is still living inside of me.

“These scars, Jules,” he says. “Where did they come from?”

I try to tell him the story. With tenderness, I describe the day at Pensacola, removing my galoshes and tiptoeing into the water. I tell him that I stood there, fifteen years old, in a blue bikini, my mother sunning behind me. I tell him how calm I felt as I stood and waded up to my thighs, as I dipped my head into the water and held my breath and my hair spooled all around me like a mermaid. I tell him I wish mermaids were real. How I imagine they’d have problems like this all the time, how it would be no big deal.

“But what is it?” he says.

I tell him that at some point, as I bathed in the gulf, a creature entered my body. I tell him about my eggs, about the hard, certain texture of them. I tell him about the nine months I sat on the living room floor with them. I tell him how I grieved when they started to fall off, one at a time, into tiny carcasses, deflated and hopeless. It took years, I tell him, for me to stop missing my eggs. It was like a part of me was amputated.

“I felt that way when my mother died,” he said.

“I felt nothing when my mother died,” I said honestly.

And here we are, alone, essentially, on this earth, in each other's arms, and I have told him about my eggs, and we lie there, eyes locked, and I feel his foot graze my foot, his toes run up and down it, something starts to happen to me and I moan. I keep moaning as he strokes my feet. I see the surf of Pensacola and hear the waves; I feel the scruff of the bath towel under my butt and I breathe in, breathe out, sending all thoughts away, until I’m underwater again, my legs turned to a slick scaly tail, my hair floating around me, my neck slit with gills. I am part of the ocean, I am part mother and part ocean. I moan and he strokes my feet.

Erica Ciccarone is a writer living in Brooklyn. You can find her website here.

"Blackberry Way" - The Wonder Stuff (mp3)

"There, There, My Dear" - The Wonder Stuff (mp3)

 

Friday
Apr122013

In Which It Is A Vicious Cycle Really

Can't Start A Fire Without A Face Tattoo

by SHELBY SHAW 
 
The Place Beyond the Pines  
dir. Derek Cianfrance
140 minutes

The opening scene of The Place Beyond The Pines is a long take travelling from inside a trailer to inside a metal cage of death, three stunt motorcyclists speeding in arcs of physical defiance around one another. This is their job, day in and day out, from city to city. They are entertainers, risk-takers, vagabonds. They thrill to please for a few hours’ time until they make their long-awaited return the next year.

Like clichéd rock stars without any of the status or benefits or names, this is the never-ending cycle – albeit an unpredictable one set amidst a predictable string of domestic cities – in which Luke (Ryan Gosling) thrives.

The traditional tattoos adorning Luke’s blonde and innocently tough demeanor were co-designed by Gosling and Ben Shields, and all of them are fake – but that didn’t stop Gosling from telling director Derek Cianfrance that he felt like the face tattoo he originally insisted on, a small dagger with a drop of blood, was a tad overboard. “That's what happens when you get a face tattoo. You regret it and now you have to regret it for the whole movie,” Cianfrance had replied. And so we have our theme: living in post, dealing with past, coping in the present and seeming fine.

In Schenectady (which translates roughly from Mohawk to “the place beyond the pines”) Romina (Eva Mendes) cares for Luke’s unknown-to-him son, Jason. When Cianfrance reveals this, he lets the camera linger past the moment, Romina's mother Malena (Olga Merediz) eagerly offering Luke to Jason. He gravely cradles the baby, protective and proud and determined; he is quickly becoming a father in the doorway between entering Romina and Jason’s life and the porch that will lead Luke back to the carnival, back to leaving again for at least another year.

Romina is either always crying or trying to be the mature one in control of her conversations with Luke, who doesn’t show so much emotion with his face as with his actions. Could there be ladies like Romina all over the country for this traveling man?

We never find out exactly what happened between Romina and Luke – was it a one-night fling, a week long, a repeat during summers for years, just one day? At first this is frustrating because it could have been a major telling point in how they reacted with each other, or why they didn’t act in certain ways, but then I realized that it doesn’t matter. What matters is everything after he left, which is only coming together because Luke is back for a few hours by fate. The dialogue feels as if it may have been caught candidly on camera and polished up by a colorist. The longer takes let the story unravel as if – for once – we really were there.

Accomplice Robin (Ben Mendelsohn) understands that Luke needs money so he offers a resolution: rob a bank. He’s done it four times twelve years ago and stopped when suspicion started to come his way. He is nonchalant. He is serious. So he teaches the curious Luke how to do it: go for the oldest female bank clerk, then the meekest, don’t take out your gun. “I did four banks with a note,” Robin says.

Luke disregards the advice on his first heist. It’s humorous, but at the same time it’s not for laughing at as we watch the entire process slowly, wincing at how Luke doesn’t know what he’s doing. Yet these people are still scared as he kicks around their desks, shouting hoarsely. I’m surprised that no one really ever reacts during the hold-ups other than to remain calm and obey Luke. Wouldn’t cops start to notice his motorcycle escapes?

After the successful hold-up, he vomits in the back of Robin’s truck. He may be a stuntman by profession, but he isn’t a con artist. They’re about as excited as school boys who scored the hottest dates to the dance. At Robin’s they party to Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark,” a scene that feels almost awkwardly too long to watch, but that’s because it is. This is all these guys have to celebrate.

Luke is only ever dangerous twice: once lashing out on Romina’s boyfriend, Kofi (Mahershala Ali), in an almost expressionless state, and once in a passively aggressive move on Robin to get his money for a new bike. Violence doesn’t seem to be a part of baby-faced Luke, biker outlaw. When he sets out on the most fateful robbery yet, everything goes wrong before he even goes into the bank – you wince with every slip of his plan. 

This time delays allow the cops to catch up to him as he’s leaving, and a long pursuit ensues through the town, the cemetery, side streets. Luke is getting worse and worse at this game as it goes on, the camera transcending the viewer into a virtual reality, Luke getting trapped and banged up until on foot, running into the closest home. Avery (Bradley Cooper) is eager to take down the bad guy and is clearly on edge with Luke trapped on the top floor.

Here the movie folds into the second third of its triptych setup. By the time we meet Avery I’m surprised to start finding more screen time with the cop and his corrupt co-officers – the film could easily have finished out with Luke and Romina’s story. But Cianfrance keeps Luke in your mind not only because of his history and impact on the rest of the film, but because of what we’ve learned of Luke so far, which is enough to bring us so close we remember him even when he’s gone. Moving into the second part feels almost like a betrayal.

Cianfrance’s story isn’t so much three different stories as it is simply three parts along the timeline of one tale. He brings us into each part deep enough to become invested, and when we move on it’s jarring in an emotional way, missing the characters and stories we had been seeing. We are in the company of wolves with Avery now, and it is only the beginning; he takes an honorable risk to dismantle the corrupt police force and becomes assistant district attorney.

We then resume the story fifteen years later, which seems more like today, which is a beautiful thing Cianfrance has done from the beginning: he doesn’t lay out the opening year for you. Everything seems contemporary but with a strange twist – no smart phones, no hi-tech security in the banks, no fancy Apple computers there either, a disposable camera at the ice cream shop, and clothing that makes you wonder if they’re being hip – but they’re just living in the 90s, with no money, and not concerned over clothing trends. The only concern I have with the jump is the lack of change between Avery and wife Jennifer (Rose Byrne) then, and now. Fifteen years, a divorce and a kid don’t seem to have left any impression.

Avery’s son, AJ, now grown up as a high school senior with slicked hair, exposed chest hair, and a permanent scowl that looks like he could be wearing a mouth guard, moves in with Avery, now a successful man in the DA office, going after politics. We are not surprised to learn, at Avery's father's funeral, that he and Jennifer split up. AJ is careless in regards to school or life. Dad’s got a nice house and that’s all he needs. But he doesn’t have friends in Schenectady – still, it’s hard to feel bad for this kid who clearly just wants to cause moody trouble.

At lunch one day, the familiar cliché of the new kid without a table to sit at, you feel a little pity for AJ. He is a bitter standout among cliques of teens who don’t gel their hair or wear white tank tops. He sits across from a lanky boy, sitting alone, content with eating, looking sly though, a loner but not because he’s a rebel, a loner because he is meek in the company of his peers. He seems a little uncomfortable with AJ – clearly not the type of kid he would take for a friend – but admits he too does drugs, sure, we can leave right now to go smoke. It’s an adventure for them, bonding over whatever they can. As they get high in a tunnel the sound is distorted through marijuana and the façade of thinking they might have just made friends. AJ later has his friend get him ecstasy from a shabby run-down house on a dark town road. Leaving the dealer’s, the cops immediately bust the kids.

Coming to bail out his son, Avery asks about the other boy. His name is Jason Glanton, Luke and Romina’s son. Avery goes into the holding room where AJ tries to apologize, but Avery has him up against the wall, rough, “you can have anything you want but I don’t want you to fucking touch that kid.” AJ has no idea what’s going on, but Avery is terrifying. After AJ questions Jason about Kofi, Jason uncovers suppressed questions regarding his father, getting Kofi to tell him Luke’s name for the first time, which he then takes to Google to find out about Luke the outlaw and Avery the hero who killed him.

After Jason finds out Avery is AJ’s dad, he goes to his dealer’s house that night for a gun, bluntly giving us the foreshadowing for when he shows up in the mirror of AJ’s room the next morning, gun pointed, firing. When Avery comes home, unknowing of any of this, he stops on the stairs, as if suspecting something is wrong with his son – but he then backs down the stairs, Jason pointing the gun at him, giving commands. No word on AJ. Avery drives them into the woods where he and Jason have one of the tensest moments, the camera trailing slowly from the gun down Avery’s back, never knowing when, if it will go off. Jason is not a killer. Neither was his father. But we may have had the least amount of time with this character in this end of the triptych – maybe we don’t know him the way we thought.

The Place Beyond the Pines is not a straightforward narrative about fathers and sons – Cianfrance has made a film worth seeing because it’s more than just a story, it’s a complex layering of affairs, one set in a reality with which we are all familiar. He introduces us to an array of characters who could all be people we know, or ourselves. The cast doesn’t need to convince us of anything – we’re with them all the time, as they morph into dysfunctional families who have found ways of coping and living in routine, and as they deal with the secrets any family has.

Cianfrance’s pacing feels natural in the triptych story, revealing key points embedded in each scene, long and observant on the characters where the emotions are the actions. Sure, there are some thrilling chase scenes, some suspense, but the film isn’t so much about what the characters are doing as much as it is about how the consequences are affecting them; we learn what they do as they do, we put together the pieces as they do, in ways that leave us thinking it over again and again, taking it personally to try to figure out each character.

Cianfrance doesn’t have plot holes in his story, he has room for us to consider these people on levels beyond just script-deep. They aren’t flat at all, they’re fully dimensional like anyone else we know in our lives, neighbors we might see daily or people we share a commute with: we know who they are, what they do, we might know a little about their family or what they like, we might know a secret or two, but we don’t know everything about them. We can try to sympathize, and some of us might empathize, and for that we are brought a little closer to these characters. They move us, more than any other film ensemble of the year.

Shelby Shaw is the senior contributor to This Recording. She is a writer and artist living in Chicago. You can find her website here. She twitters here and tumbls here.

"Post Nostalgia Withdrawal" - Mentalease (mp3)

"False Positive" - Mentalease (mp3)