Reporting again from Tribeca, here's Jason on the Tiger-winning Something Must Break from Swedish director Ester Martin Bergsmark.
Xavier Dolan directing a remake of Fassbinder's In a Year of Thirteen Moons is what occurred to me about halfway into the Swedish transgender love-story-of-sorts Something Must Break, although I think I probably do director Ester Martin Bergsmark's film a disservice setting it up against the lofty cinema I excitedly imagine that project could be. (Somebody send Xavier a note, please.) As for what the film really is, while it's spiked with moments of aggression and punk (especially in the terrific final moments) it's more intent to drift on languid pauses, hushed tones, and Instagram filters - think Weekend on smack.
Something Must Break tells the tale of Sebastian turning into Ellie while simultaneously falling in love with Andreas, a boy whose outer Sid Vicious masks a more gooey James Dean trustafarian center. Simultaneously or maybe because of - the push and pull of Andreas' needs (which Andreas can't even seem to comprehend himself) seems to spark Sebastian to action, and the film's at its most interesting when his inner Ellie begins making herself known, most especially in moments of defiance. The film does nearly wring a tear or two out of Andreas' blind self-absorbtion and cruel confusion, and I did dig the way the process of Sebastian's transformation was more just a shift of perspective, as if light began hitting a diamond from a different angle.
But it's the sort of movie that feels like an extended first act - I was more interested in where Ellie was going than where I'd just watched her wander from. I wanted to see that diamond cut glass.