Aftersun

Aftersun ★★★★★

Everyone remembers at least one instance from their early lives of first having that perfect image of your parents shattered, revealing a much more complicated darkness to you, that the people who form everything about you are just as confused as you, so how are you supposed to process that? I often think to the first time I saw my father cry, simply understanding that no matter what you do you will inherit all their traumas yet will never be able to understand them. What Wells pulled off here on what is a goddamn debut (?!?!) is nothing short of a miracle, for capturing with excruciating detail that very specific feeling of time and memory folding in on itself in a confusing haze, all told via fractured snapshots of home video dreamscapes.

A lot of own personal baggage here of course and all that I’ll save for my therapist that made parts of this kinda destroy me. Weirdly enough the 2022 film this pairs the best with is Skinamarink, as far as works that aim to tap into raw universal childhood memories through the inherently ghostly and haunting nature of its varying formats of home video and analog footage, for as many have put it, the strength here comes in how deceptively simple Wells sets this up from the outset. Yet even beyond that, i’m kinda floored by how much the language of experimental cinema is present here in what’s on surface a seemingly very in experimental melodrama.

Like one long hollow sob draw out into film form, kinda totally floored by this.

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