Evidently, Werner Herzog has never heard of Mark Hogencamp. Otherwise he’d be all over this backwater New Yorker’s contribution to outsider art: a yard filled with a pint-sized WWII Belgian town in which action-figure soldiers, dames and gored Nazis live an ongoing narrative. Hogenfeld was beaten to the point of amnesia, and, unable to afford professional help, he began the project as therapy, producing boxes of dynamic photos in the process. Where Herzog would recognize a kindred spirit, director Jeff Maimberg does fine just lending an ear.
Sun., Oct. 17, 2:30pm, RA.
The New Year: B+
A slow-burn character study, Brett Haley’s feature debut impresses not only because it scored the ideal actress. Trieste Kelly Dunn (also in Cold Weather) plays a young woman who dropped out of school to attend to her cancer-ridden father in Pensacola. Her stasis is threatened by a visit from an old nemesis/would-be flame. Haley’s script is a touch over-written, but the spontaneity is more than supplied by Dunn’s acutely expressive performance, which carries the film to its somewhat unexpected climax.
Sun., Oct. 17, 2:55pm, AM. Mon., Oct. 18, 5:05pm, R5.
Rocking the same eerily placid smile she permanently wore in Lucrecia Martel's The Headless Woman, María Onetto once again plays a housewife who suffers an uncomfortable awakening. This time the tale’s more audience-friendly, with Onetto so unloved at home she has to make her own birthday cake. Solace arrives in her unexpected skill with assembling puzzles, which may also lead her to new love. The script is pat and simplistic, but director Natalia Smirnoff does her best to infuse it with loose handheld camera work that neither calls attention to itself nor lets down its lead actress.
Fri., Oct. 15, 5pm, R5 + Sun., Oct. 17, 12pm, R5.
Tiny Furniture: B
Don’t hate Lena Dunham because she scored a stint with Judd Apatow while her breakout film was still riding the festival circuit. And don’t hate her because the character she plays lives out her post-collegiate limbo in her mother’s blinding-white New York loft. Nor should you hate her for exhibiting a confident, clean directing style and an even more confident way with dialogue. Instead, admire her her willingness to look at herself honestly, warts and all, her distaste for tidy resolutions and her awesome mom (as herself).
Mon., Oct. 18, 7:15pm, RA.
AC = Annenberg Center, 3680 Walnut St.
IH = International Hous, 3701 Chestnut St.
PMT = Prince Music Theate, 1412 Chestnut St.
R5 = Ritz 5, 214 Walnut St.
RA = The Rave, 4012 Walnut St.
Those seeking sexy dirt in a doc on Jeanette Maier, madam of the late, well-patroned Canal Street brothel, take note. The brunt of Cameron Yates’ doc isn’t the scandal, but its less-skeezy aftermath—what becomes of the news sensation once the sensation ends?