TIFF paired up Anna Marziano’s Beyond the One with Dani Leventhal and Sheilah Wilson’s Strangely Ordinary This Devotion. The latter isn’t your average film. It dedicates its first and largest section to the directors shoving stones and rocks in each other’s mouths. The found footage and close-ups complements the content, which initially triggered me and grossed me out. I can’t wait for these two to come out with a feature to show an accurate depiction of lesbian love. Four stars.
Marziano’s longer feature is less potent and visceral. But it still retains some of the short film’s poignancy. Throughout the film we see someone making Rauschenberg-esque collages, pointing to the beauty of pieces that don’t fit. She also uses a full screen instead of a wide one, film instead of digital. Black and white or faded colors instead of HD ones. We never see people speaking, just voice overs or delayed syncs. And I know that these visual and sound methods are way on the nose.
But the metaphors are still true, and that what we see and hear points to the antiquated notions of love. That it’s a way to abuse and in the least, stifle people. The subjects Marziano features, hailing from Europe and India, get ideas from past and present about love. The film could have been cliched or dry but these subjects’ stories here add a personal touch. It’s refreshing to hear from these generations, as if we’re in perpetual rebellion against monogamy and tradition.