CUFF 2021: Our Review of ‘So Late So Soon’

Posted in CUFF 2021, Movies, What's Streaming? by - April 24, 2021
CUFF 2021: Our Review of ‘So Late So Soon’

Daniel Hymanson’s So Late So Soon has these quick transitions in depicting the former and current life of Jackie and Don Seiden. Most of the focus here though is on Jackie who was an art teacher who made local news and is still very much an artist now. The documentary questions certain aspects of the mainstream understanding of an artist. Her home might be the only place where she works but she’s still working regardless.

Jackie does installation and video art while Don, who also does video art, is also a sketch artist. And Hymanson shows how they intertwine their work and home lives. Jackie rifles through Don’s sketchbook to see who he draws, and jokes about the beautiful women who end up in the book. But these jokes hide something deeper. It recalls a story that Jackie tells about Don’s hesitation to marry her, which eventually comes up.

Hymanson shrinks a five year period into 70 minutes which is a good enough length for a documentary. Some viewers might assume that watching an artsy couple maintain a household and occasionally bicker, but the opposite is the case. If anything, the occasional visitors break up the film’s momentum. The same goes for Jackie goes out to visit certain spots that reveal Chicago’s multicultural harmony. That’s normally a good thing to see but not here, surprisingly.

Eventually, Hymanson gets back to the couple. His focus on Jackie is great because she has such insight on how her art, as much of a cliche this is, reflects her life. She often used degradable materials in her work, which she minded less that her and everyone’s degrading bodies. That’s not even the most heartbreaking thing here. This couple might be dysfunctional, but it captures the slow heartbreak of two people losing each other.

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While Paolo Kagaoan is not taking long walks in shrubbed areas, he occasionally watches movies and write about them. His credentials are as follows: he has a double major in English and Art History. This means that, for example, he will gush at the art direction in the Amityville house and will want to live there, which is a terrible idea because that house has ghosts. Follow him @paolokagaoan on Instagram but not while you're working.
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