For nine years now, the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s BAMcinemaFest has been one of the most important dates on the New York film lover’s calendar – a can’t miss slate of forthcoming indies, many gathered from the spring festivals for their NYC premieres. We saw several of them at Sundance and SXSW (and endorse most): tonight’s Opening Night movie Gemini, Spotlight selection Landline, Closing Night title Golden Exits, The Incredible Jessica James, Wind River, Most Beautiful Island, Marjorie Prime, The Big Sick, Lemon, and Ingrid Goes West. And we were lucky enough to get an early peek at eight more cinemaFest titles, which we heartily recommend as well.
An ignored housewife has a sudden breakdown and transforms herself into a terrifying, feral dog in the latest from Good Dick writer/director/star Marianna Palka, which sounds like a high-concept late-‘90s Jim Carrey movie, but is shot as domestic horror and played as social satire. She takes on the role of said housewife/dog, and it’s an intensely physical (to put it mildly) performance – but also a decidedly supporting one. The star here is Jason Ritter as her utterly ill-equipped workaholic husband, whose total panic at having to do any of the child-rearing himself, and total ineptitude at accomplishing even the simplest of related tasks, is both funny and painful to watch. It’s a bizarre movie, and not always successful. But it’s certainly an arresting little item.