Pendance Film Festival 2019: Our Review of ‘In Reality’

Posted in Festival Coverage, Movies, Pendance 2019 by - February 03, 2019
Pendance Film Festival 2019: Our Review of ‘In Reality’

Ann Lupo’s In Reality seems like a disaster of a premise. The director plays a character who she names after herself who’s working on his bosses’ engagement video. While that’s happening, she also finds herself in her own roller coaster of a love story. Once in a while we see black and white footage of her as an off-screen man interviews her.

Lupo also shows the events she discusses play out in full color. A navel gaze-y autobiography that tries out different storytelling formats? There are scenes with MTV-style static that expresses her character’s heartbreak.  There are also fantasy scenes, reminiscent of 90s cinema like Jeffrey, which is very aware of love’s dualities.

It has all of those elements and they all surprisingly work together. That’s mostly through Lupo’s writing and performance, both evincing ebullience that shines through even in knowing that her love story is a bus that’s going to go underground. And so do the scenes where she has to cry her heart out, realizing that she’ll never spend forever with John (Miles G. Jackson).

Lupo is also aware of a part of her premise – one about the reality of her character’s situation. That reality is really about someone’s perception. That rejection is that event that can both destroy someone and/or snap them back to reality. Even subtle effects that we’ve already seen in some movies remind us of heartbreak as an out of body experience.

Let’s not forget that this love story is in New York of all places. And even she doesn’t screw up that cliche of a city. There’s something internal about how she depicts her experiences within the city. About a city that you can experience with either the best or worst people, and having hope despite having gone through so much.


  • Release Date: 2/3/2019
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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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