Mackinaw Mail

Two Films Unveiling the Depths of Relationships and Our Urban Existence

MOVIE REVIEW
Today/I Cannot Tell You How I Feel

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Genre: Short
Year Released: 2023/2017
Runtime: 57m/41m
Director(s): Su Friedrich
Where To Watch: TODAY is opening March 17, 2023, at New York’s DCTV Firehouse Cinema www.firehouse.dctvny.org I CANNOT TELL YOU HOW I FEEL streaming on www.vimeo.com and www.ovid.tv


RAVING REVIEW: Two captivating documentaries from a talented director offer a fascinating exploration of life, love, and the relentless march of time. The first film, I CANNOT TELL YOU HOW I FEEL, delves into the emotional challenges that arise during a parent's twilight years. The second film, TODAY, focuses on the filmmaker's neighborhood, revealing life's mundane and extraordinary aspects.


I CANNOT TELL YOU HOW I FEEL one of Friedrich’s previous films works wonderfully in conjunction with their newest release TODAY. I CANNOT TELL YOU HOW I FEELdives into the intricate dynamics of parent-child relationships during the trying process of relocating an elderly parent. Friedrich blends the struggle to illustrate the shared experiences between a mother facing the trials of old age and her adult daughter. The film fearlessly unveils the mother's diminishing memory and struggles to acclimate to new surroundings. This heartfelt portrayal of life's final chapters stands unrivaled in its emotional depth and authenticity.

The film skillfully intertwines themes of memory, loss, and love, allowing viewers to witness the relentless passage of time and the emotional strain it brings. As the story progresses, audiences are reminded of the complicated history and many events that have forged the bond between parent and child. The stark honesty can sometimes be disconcerting, but it emphasizes the unusual nature of this experience.

Shifting gears to the filmmaker's neighborhood, TODAY provides an enthralling and relaxed look into everyday life in Brooklyn. Documenting six years of urban existence, the film captures the essence of city living. The filmmaker's observations and amusing on-screen text (quite literally) uncover the understated allure and unanticipated challenges her community faces.

Friedrich celebrated for pioneering contributions to queer cinema, adopts an innovative approach in TODAY. Endeavoring to "live in the moment" through her camera, the filmmaker discloses the inspiring and sorrowful facets of the world surrounding her, merging documentary footage with trademark humor and commentary, resulting in a captivating and informal depiction of everyday life.

Su Friedrich's singular talents, with a legacy boasting over 25 original independent films, are highlighted in both documentaries. Her work has been honored with numerous retrospectives at distinguished institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the National Film Theater in London. Friedrich's films are included in the permanent collections of renowned establishments worldwide, demonstrating her enduring influence on independent cinema.

In conclusion, I CANNOT TELL YOU HOW I FEEL, and TODAY presents contrasting lenses to scrutinize life's intricacies. The former film delves into the emotionally intense process of rehoming an elderly parent, while the latter offers a closer look at daily life in a Brooklyn neighborhood. Both films attest to Su Friedrich's capacity to defy traditional filmmaking conventions, capturing the unadulterated honesty and vulnerability that characterize the human experience.

This review emphasizes the distinctive visions of an acclaimed filmmaker while delivering an entertaining and relatable experience for a general audience.

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[photo courtesy of ICARUS FILMS]