Friday, September 28, 2012

Double Feature with Abe: The Yakuza and the Mermaid / My Life as Abraham Lincoln

The Yakuza and the Mermaid – Directed by Chris Benker
My Life as Abraham Lincoln – Directed by Shari Berman
Released September 28, 2012

This strange double-feature premieres today at the Cinema Village in New York City. These two films, from husband Chris Benker and wife Shari Berman, both explore the lives of writers whose imaginations begin to take over their lives. In Benker’s film, the writer’s characters become frustrated with his meddling in their lives and plot to kill him. In Berman’s, protagonist and aspiring author Cindy is obsessed with a play about Abraham Lincoln in which she starred as a young child to the point that memories manifest themselves in the middle of interactions with other people. Both films are equally odd and told in a style that is not particularly attached to a chronological narrative. They’re prone to extended hallucinations and meditations on life. In the former film, one character, known as the Mermaid, launches a sociology experiment in which she leaves random notes for people telling them she knows what they did and that they must come meet her in an effort to draw out their darkest secrets, and in the latter, Cindy herself becomes involved in an increasingly worsening situation involving the death of a new acquaintance, where she must struggle to determine what is real and what she has invented. Both stories are extremely intriguing, but neither is effectively tethered to reality in a manner that makes much sense, creating a dizzying, intoxicating, ultimately unfulfilling experience.


No comments: