Wednesday, 14 September 2016

REVIEW - THE FITS (ANNA ROSE HOLMER)


An enigmatic, beguiling film, equally persuasive as a metaphorical commentary on maturation as it is as an abstract, stylized work of art. The Fits' many peculiarities may have you entranced upon viewing, though upon remembering, distance and objectivity bring the film's hazy picture into clearer view - Anna Rose Holmer has crafted an exceptionally rich, dense film with a minimum of devices and remarkable brevity. Its presentation is such that the full breadth of her outlook is veiled by its expressive formal gestures, yet they too aid in the construction of the narrative and thematic components. The film is equally smart and seductive. Much as one may be allured by The Fits' artful compositions, so too does Holmer's sensitive use of space, particularly in recurrence, inform both the action and our reaction to it. Much as one may be transfixed by its wayward, syncopated sonic rhythms, so too do they communicate certain mental and emotional states, and thus the formation of character. And this is the film's central concern, as radical shifts are depicted in radical ways, and near-imperceptible ways also. Character is at first suggested, later developed, finally cemented, and Holmer's technique is marvellously effective - she fills her abundant vision with intimate detail, dropping subtle, diegetic hints to build, eventually, a complete whole. You'll need to step back, acquire that aforementioned objectivity in order to understand it, and to appreciate the exquisite beauty of what has been achieved here. The Fits is perfectly attuned not merely to the realities of life but to the import each of these realities holds to its participants. It is the announcement of a remarkable new talent, both in its filmmaker and in its lead actor, the fantastic young Royalty Hightower.