Wednesday, June 15, 2011

We're a "Must-See!" according to Eric Kohn at Indiewire!

5 Must-See Films at BAMcinemaFest

by Eric Kohn

Entering its third year, the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) continues its intention of bringing many of the strongest sleeper hits of the American film festival circuit to appreciative crowds in Brooklyn. The opening night selection Thursday, June 16th is an interesting example: British director Andrew Haigh’s gay romance “Weekend” came out of nowhere to become the breakout hit of South by Southwest in March, but its positioning at BAM makes it one of the stars of the show. There are also plenty of mid-size productions that developed buzz out of Sundance, such as “Terri” and “Another Earth,” both of which will hit theaters later this year. However, the festival’s real strength comes from its selection of less widely acclaimed work that has slipped through the cracks or otherwise avoided the media spotlight. Here are a few memorable discoveries in that vein.

“On the Ice”

Although it played under the radar at Sundance in January, Inuit filmmaker Andrew Okpeaha MacLean’s tense thriller about a couple of rebellious teens in desolate Barrow, Alaska announces a new filmmaker with a firm grasp on the genre. When a drunken night results in an accidental murder, two young men must harbor a dark secret while the authorities traverse the barren terrain in search of the missing body. The scenario isn’t exactly original, but MacLean’s script benefits from making its edgy characters into figures of sympathy: Qalli (Josiah Patkotak) dreams of attending college while his friend Aivaaq (Frank Qutuq Irelan) hopes to settle down with his girlfriend. Their dreams give the movie’s film noir ingredients a real sense of peril, the marriage of high stakes and teen angst put a Hitchcockian twist on the typical John Hughes scenario, and the icy climate introduces an existential creepiness no less unsettling than the empty vistas in John Carpenter’s “The Thing.”

Here's the link to it online.

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