Day Night Day Night
(directed by Julia Loktev)
Living in New York and going about your daily life post-9/11 you really can't help but have the possibility of a further terrorist attack lurking in the back of your mind. This morbid potential tragedy is the subject of Julia Loktev striking first feature which played at this year's New Directors/New Films Festival and gets a theatrical release this weekend. However instead of making a big budget Hollywood thriller ala 24 or the upcoming Peter Berg thriller The Kingdom, Loktev has constructed a very personal, quietly suspenseful movie told entirely from the point of view of a teenage girl suicide bomber.
Loktev's unnamed protagonist (played brilliantly by newcomer Luisa Williams) is quite the cypher even though the camera follows her incessantly over the 94 minute running time. We don't know her origins, her politics or her reasoning only that she's single-mindedly dedicated herself to following through with an elaborate scheme to blow herself up in Times Square. Over the course of this riveting movie we learn small details about the girl like her shy modesty, her unfailing politeness and her substantial appetite, but as the movie closes there's definitely more questions for the audience than answers. Watching Day Night Day Night is a true moviegoing experience. You can't help but be caught up in the momentum of its heart-wrenching, frighteningly topical story and it's one that will stick with you, particularly as a New Yorker, long after the credits run. Playing at the IFC Center, Loktev will be on hand for Q&As following the 7:45 pm and 9:55 pm showings tonight.
Other movie events going on around town this weekend include the BAC International Film and Video Festival which wraps up this weekend at the Brooklyn Museum, a two week long series devoted to the cinematic bad ass Lee Marvin kicks off at the Film Society tonight, and the 3D '50s horror classic The Creature From The Black Lagoon gets the midnight movie treatment at Sunshine.