Team Experience is at the Tribeca Film Festival. Here's Manuel on Madly.
Anthology films are always, by definition, a mixed bag. This omnibus collection, which features short films by Gael García Bernal, Sebastián Silva, and Natasha Khan among others, is concerned with “Love.” Each short tackles this loaded emotion in decidedly different ways, tackling impending marriages, stale relationships, burgeoning romances, and everything in between.
Mia Wasikowska, for example, in a particularly interesting segment titled “Afterbirth” focuses on the love between a recent mother and her baby. Those of us who know she’s worked with David Cronenberg and Park Chan-wook will recognize the influences that run through this eerie, off-kilter attempt at depicting the disorienting world of new motherhood. Spoiler alert, it won’t pair well with Garry Marshall’s Mothers Day. Part of the strength of the film lies in Kathryn Beck’s performance; she’s all wide-eyed and beautiful so that it’s only when Wasikowska’s camera lingers on her blank, almost indifferent expression that we begin to intuit that something’s a bit amiss.
Among the rest, I have to admit I wasn’t wowed by Silva’s work. I’m starting to feel I’ll just never “get” what he’s doing even as he offers the most overtly LGBT entry in the collection. As a fan of 2/3 of Nasty Baby, I somehow kept expecting the other shoe to drop in his young black gay kid in a rough neighborhood sojourn (and it does, don't you worry about that). As for Gael’s fragmented take on a couple's storied history, I found myself noting that it'd be the type of needlessly puzzling film you’d condescendingly describe as “arty." The other one worth mentioning? Sion Sono’s sex club/incestual family comedy which is definitely unlike anything you’ve seen before and perhaps even more bizarre than it sounds.
Grade: A through C (nothing is quite a disaster)