VIFF 2015: James White (Josh Mond, 2015)

Part of our coverage of the 2015 Vancouver International Film Festival. This review is by Vancouver-based critic Neil Bahadur.

Beautifully unpretentious. The debut feature of indie producer Josh Mond, James White, is surprising in its coming from the New York independent scene because of its tender sincerity. Dishonesty is alien to this director; perhaps the film is more moving than it is interesting, but what of it? Clearly a very personal work, this is an attempt at self-catharsis, a successful attempt to try to express (and really document) emotions that one has difficulty understanding. Shot in a mere 18 days, the movie’s tight and controlled structure almost seems to betray its modesty. This isn’t a criticism: the movie never overreaches its fiscal limitations and is rather designed around it. And perhaps because of its remarkable self-control, the film seems far more ambitious than it actually is. The movie is so fixed in its purpose and it never misses a beat. It’s like James Gray distilled.

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