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Directors of For Sama

Lulu Wang (The Farewell)
Ritesh Batra (Photograph)
Schmidt & Abrantes (Diamantino)
Wanuri Kahiu (Rafiki)
Jia Zhang-ke (Ash is Purest White)

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Get Yourself Chained For Life

by Jason Adams

There is a fascinating film opening in New York today and in L.A. on Friday which I feel the need to give y'all some heads-up on if you're unawares -- Chained For Life stars Teeth (and It: Chapter 2!) actress Jess Weixler and Under the Skin actor Adam Pearson as a pair of actors who meet each other on the strange set of a surreal sorta horror film. She's the lovely leading lady, while he's the disfigured man in the shadows that's there to add that distinct touch of surreality that film-makers have been othering others with as long as there's been film.

From there in the grand tradition of movies-set-within-movies -- you could very much call this film Day For Night meets Freaks -- writer-director Aaron Schimberg dissolves the barriers between the two, tackling the heady subject of what we as an audience want to look at, why we're conditioned in that way, and ways around to something better.

If that sounds didactic it's not -- it's also a hypnotic mystery full of spell-binding imagery and suprising sweetness. I reviewed the film in more depth last year when it screened at the Fantasia Fest last July, you can read it here, but here's a choice bit:

"This is one-of-a-kind mad scientist movie-making stuff, riveting in ways I hardly expected going in - it unfolds itself, paper cranes and finger puppets, nesting dolls dissolving from one to the under to the under. It is, quite frankly, a lovely thing to behold."

If you're in New York Schimberg will be doing Q&As at screenings of the film tonight and tomorrow at the IFC Center -- then it hits the Nuart in L.A. Friday and they're promising a national roll-out after that, so stay tuned. I very much recommend checking this one out.

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