Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Day Night Day Night|
Actors: Luisa Williams, Josh Phillip Weinstein, Gareth Saxe, Nyambi Nyambi, Frank Dattolo
Director: Julia Loktev
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
A gripping drama that follows a young suicide bomber on her mission to wreak havoc in Times Square. It is not known who she represents or what she believes in, but she believes in her mission absolutely.
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Wonderful feature debut
S. J. McCorkle | 09/22/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a wonderful feature debut by a scrupulous, original American filmmaker with a striking performance by Luisa Williams. Despite its stocking subject, following the path of a young suicide bomber in New York City, it is full of wit and wisdom about our political fears and our way of life, however much we might feel the protagonist is aliened from it. Also the film is full of everything New Yorkers love and hate about our city: the implicit connections of just seeing such diverse people living together, our unspoken (most of the time) sympathy for others that can quickly can turn into anxiety. Without sentimentality this is a humane film, with compassion for the protagonist as well as her potential victims, and open ended about what the life of the protagonist may come to mean."
A Portrait in Hopelessness
Rocky Raccoon | Boise, ID | 10/25/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In Albert Camus's famous novel, `The Stranger,' the protagonist smokes a cigarette before he is executed and brusquely passes off any attempts to distract him from his last little experience of pleasure. That scene came to my mind while watching Julia Lokler's myopic little gem, `Day Night Day Night'. So it doesn't surprise me that, while glancing at the product description afterwards, the movie is described as an award-winning "existential" movie.
Throughout her film, she uniquely turns up the sound in the scenes that lead to the film's confrontation and climax. Whether bathing or eating an apple, we hear the volume turned up to a remarkable degree. At first I naively thought that this was random. Alternately, it either irritated me or unintentionally made me laugh, but I soon discovered the movie's genius. Generically named, "She" (Luisa Williams), is trained to be a terrorist. At the tender age of 19, she is presented merely as a child, someone who is a molded "jihadist" ready to die for her cause. Sent to a motel room in New Jersey, she is prepared with every detail by her adult comrades who ready her with a bomb attached in her backpack, soon to be sent to blow up civilians in Times Square in New York City.
We aren't given too much about her intentions or motivations, but it is revealed that both parents have died, and she is left like a vulnerable child. Some of the indoctrination reminded me of the Patty Hearst controversy; even though I reserve judgment for that whole debacle. "She" is certainly younger and more impressionable than Hearst possibly was, but her isolation is clearly presented. What better way to show a potential casualty of terror than with a needy orphan? The volume is turned up in more ways than one as we come upon a martyr candidate who draws her inspiration from a desperate hopelessness.
There's one scene in the movie that I found particularly cogent. As she walks through the streets of Time's Square, she comes across a street vendor selling toy, mechanical puppies. She tenderly pets one of the stuffed toys, which moves across the sidewalk in programmed fashion. I kept thinking also of a prominent news magazine portrait of a Palestinian girl who made herself a walking time bomb, waiting to destroy and maim her Israeli neighbors.
`Day Night Day Night' is an unsettling movie that gets it right in sociology, psychology, and extrapolation as a plausible nightmare that could happen just about any where and at any time by someone who dates despair in an unsettling way. Potentially unnerving and depressing, the movie has the redeeming quality of having the audience cling to all forms of hope found at one's disposal."
This is probably a love it or hate it film
P. Mann | Los Angeles | 03/10/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Day Night Day Night" seems the sort of movie that will polarize viewers. Some will love it while others will find it unbearable. I'm in the former group. The plot, alas, has been inaccurately described here by another viewer. Unfortunately, I cannot correct the error since doing so would reveal a major spoiler. I'll cite the relevant plot points.
A young woman, superbly portrayed by Luisa Williams (Chacun Son Cinéma), arrives in an American city and is picked up by a man who takes her to a hotel. She is soon visited by three men, who prepare her to be a suicide bomber. The remainder of the film deals with the woman's quest.
Describing the plot, however, is grossly insufficient. "Day Night Day Night" is an extremely slow movie, and that slowness is a huge part of the point. The camera lingers on the woman as she clips her toenails, washes her clothing in the hotel sink, or shaves her armpits. At other points, the filmmakers elevate certain sounds, especially the sounds of the woman's eating and of ambient conversations. It certainly would be possible to fast-forward through some of these spots without losing any sense of what happens, but to do so would be, I believe, to miss the point.
That point, as I understand it, is that the woman is human. Yes, she is planning a murderous act, but she is also human. Her target, we know, is an American city, but we do not know why. As she prepares for her attack, she does the thoroughly normal things that we all do. She bathes, turns on lights in her hotel room, and performs other mundane tasks. She is, it seems, the antithesis of Robert DeNiro's Travis Bickle (from Taxi Driver). And yet she seems so calmly prepared for her mission. (Here, comparisons to Camus's Mersault in The Stranger are apt.) It is the utter calmness (and the civility she and her trainers show) that are the point.
Finally, I would be remiss were I to allow Luisa Williams's performance to pass without further comment. There are almost no characters other than the woman who have both lines and their faces on screen. That leaves Williams to carry the film. Her job is further complicated by the fact that she has very few lines for someone who is onscreen for almost every minute of the film. Those lines that she does have are banal. There's no "Make my day" or even "Rosebud" here. Nobody is going to quote lines from this movie. Nonetheless, Williams delivers an astonishingly powerful performance, expressing volumes without speaking. Her understated performance alone earns this movie a fifth star from me.
I wanted to like this movie
robert davis | port richey, florida United States | 12/28/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"as my heading says i wanted to like this movie. i read the description and i thought it sounded good, however upon watching it it seems that the director had to fill time. i mean at least 30 minutes of this film is boring. let's watch her bathe, shave, eat, cut toenails and fingernails. i'm serious. then you get to the plot which is somewhat interesting but, your left with the worst ending in cinema history. no explination, no resolution, and let's be honest did the makers just run out of film. i mean there is really no ending. maybe i'm missing the point but this film could have been great but instead pass it by. at least i saw it on the sundance channel rather than paying for it."