New Strains

Los Angeles Premiere, with co-director Prashanth Kamalakanthan in person, in conversation with Riel Roch-Decter

Saturday, April 6
2220 Arts + Archives

Directors: Artemis Shaw, Prashanth Kamalakanthan

USA, 2023, 78 minutes, DCP

As a mysterious pandemic emerges, a squabbling couple in lockdown begin to act like children.

The debut feature by Artemis Shaw and Prashanth Kamalakanthan is a raw, hilariously neurotic comedy that is among the most authentic depictions of pandemic life, and announces two multi-hyphenate talents who display as much invention behind the camera as charisma in front of it. The two filmmakers star as a couple visiting New York City on vacation, whose pent-up pettiness gets inflamed by the onset of lockdown as a series of riotous and intimate confrontations ensue. Semi-improvised and shot on a Hi8 camcorder, the film’s grainy VHS footage nails the frustrations of personal and creative helplessness in quarantine.

Official Selection: IFFR Tiger Competition (Jury Award), MoMI First Look, SXSW Sydney, Tasveer (Honorable Mention, Best Feature) Nighthawk Prospect Park, Underdox, San Diego Asian Film Festival, New Hampshire Film Festival, Buffalo International Film Festival, American Film Festival Moscow

Starring: Artemis Shaw, Prashanth Kamalakanthan, Cynthia Talmadge, Olivier Sherman 

Producers: Artemis Shaw, Kate Stahl

“Exalting in the spatial and technological limitations of their set and setting, Shaw and Kamalakanthan developed a unique house(-bound) style of cannily deployed jump cuts and voyeuristic B-roll, sweetened with ominously bourgeois objets d’art and stolen-shot exteriors. The result is a vibrantly contoured alternative to what could have been, in lesser hands, an exercise in dour claustrophobia.” -Caroline Golum, Screen Slate

This screening is brought to you by EVENTIVE.