Duck Butter (2018)

Duck Butter
Director: Miguel Arteta
Writer: Miguel Arteta, Alia Shawkat
Cast: Alia Shawkat, Laia Costa, Mae Whitman, Hong Chau, Kate Berlant, Kumail Nanjiani, Jay Duplass, Mark Duplass, Lindsay Burdge
Seen on: 20.4.2020

Plot:
Naima (Alia Shawkat) and Sergio (Laia Costa) meet by chance at a night club and have a great evening/night together. As they talk, they come up with the idea to fast-forward through their relationship to see if it is meant to be by spending 24hours together without sleep – but with sex every hour. Naima hesitates at first and says she can’t because she has to work as an actress, but when she gets fired, she returns to Sergio and the two actually do give it a try.

Duck Butter is very much an American independent movie – how much that is or isn’t up you alley is probably a matter of taste. I did enjoy it for the most part, but the ending rubbed me the wrong way.

The film poster showing a drawing of almost just the eyes of Naima (Alia Shawkat) and Sergio (Laia Costa).

[SPOILERS]

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XX (2017)

XX
Segment 1: The Box
Director: Jovanka Vuckovic
Writer: Jovanka Vuckovic
Based on: Jack Ketchum‘s short story
Cast: Natalie BrownJonathan WattonPeter DaCunhaPeyton Kennedy
Segment 2: The Birthday Party
Director: St. Vincent aka Annie Clark
Writer: Roxanne BenjaminSt. Vincent aka Annie Clark
Cast: Melanie LynskeySeth DuhameSanai VictoriaSheila VandLindsay Burdge
Segment 3: Don’t Fall
Director: Roxanne Benjamin
Writer: Roxanne Benjamin
Cast: Casey AdamsBreeda WoolAngela TrimburMorgan Krantz
Segment 4: Her Only Living Son
Director: Karyn Kusama
Writer: Karyn Kusama
Cast: Christina KirkKyle AllenMike Doyle
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 4.5.2017
[Review by cornholio.]

XX is a strong and very entertaining anthology film that I enjoyed a lot. I particularly loved the animated transition sequences between the segments by Sofia Carrillo that turned into its own small story in the end.

But of course, there was also much to like about the actual segments of the film – I talk about each individually after the jump.

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6 Years (2015)

6 Years
Director: Hannah Fidell
Writer: Hannah Fidell
Cast: Taissa FarmigaBen RosenfieldLindsay BurdgeJoshua LeonardJennifer Lafleur
Seen on: 3.8.2016

Plot:
Melanie (Taissa Farmiga) and Dan (Ben Rosenfield) have been together since they were kids and are still very much in love. Now an exciting new time has begun for both of them. Dan works as an intern for a record label and Melanie started college. But the changes to their lives start to disrupt their relationship, and rather violently at that. Will they be able to work things out or do they have to face the fact that their more adult selves will go their separate ways?

The question of what happens to a relationship when the people involved undergo big transformations – will they develop in the same direction or rather grow apart? – is interesting, and in a coming of age context it seems particularly intriguing. But unfortunately 6 Years couldn’t really sustain my initial interest.

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The Invitation (2015)

The Invitation
Director: Karyn Kusama
Writer: Phil HayMatt Manfredi
Cast: Logan Marshall-GreenEmayatzy CorinealdiTammy BlanchardMichiel HuismanJohn Carroll LynchLindsay BurdgeMike DoyleKarl YuneMichelle KrusiecMarieh DelfinoJordi VilasusoDanielle CamastraJay LarsonToby Huss
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 17.9.2015
[Reviews by cornholio and Maynard.]

Plot:
Will (Logan Marshall-Green) and Edie (Tammy Blanchard) used to be happy. But after their son died, their relationship fell apart. Edie began dating David (Michiel Huisman) and then disappeared for two years. But now Edie and David are back and have invited all of their old friends to a dinner party, including Will and his new girlfriend Kira (Emayatzy Corinealdi). It’s weird coming back together like that, but there is something even weirder going on with Edie and David and the young woman (Lindsay Burdge) who seems to live with them now.

The Invitation doesn’t exactly tell a revolutionary, unforeseeable story. But it is so beautifully executed that I didn’t mind that for a single second. In fact, the old plot just emphasizes how good the rest of the film is.

invitation

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The Midnight Swim (2014)

The Midnight Swim
Director: Sarah Adina Smith
Writer: Sarah Adina Smith
Cast: Lindsay Burdge, Jennifer Lafleur, Aleksa Palladino, Ross Partridge, Beth Grant
Part of: FrauenFilmTage
Seen on: 01.03.2015

Plot:
After experienced diver Amelia Brooks (Beth Grant) disappears in the lake next to her house – a lake that is so deep, no diver has ever reached the bottom – her estranged daughters June (Lindsay Burdge), Annie (Jennifer Lafleur) and Isa (Aleksa Palladino) travel to her home next to the lake. They want to say good-bye to both their mother and the house where they spent, their childhood and reconnect with each other as well. But when they invoke the spirit of the Seven Sisters – a local legend – their days and nights there turn a little eerie.

I absolutely fell in love with The Midnight Swim. It’s one of my favorite movies this year, at least so far (but I can hardly imagine that it wouldn’t make a Top 10 list at the end of the year). It is so many things at once – from family drama to horror film – but it also doesn’t fit into any of those categories comfortably. But it doesn’t matter, because it is an absolutely magical experience either way.

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