This stunningly shot experimental documentary has at its heart a poignant character study of a 17 year-old lesbian living in Newcastle, England. Closer, an official selection at Sundance Film Festival 2001, innovatively explores the process of documentary filmmaking and boldly challenges traditional forms of storytelling. Fiction and documentary collide in this gripping film as “scenes” from the main subject’s life are re-enacted for the camera. Produced without a script and in close collaboration with the subject, Annelise Rodger, the filmmaker presents a hypnotizing array of montages and fictive sequences to introduce the day-to-day happenings of this extraordinary person. From the streets of Newcastle – where we find Annelise speaking frankly to the camera about her experiences as a young lesbian – to the emotionally charged re-enactment of her coming out to her mother, this inventive film provides a rare auto-portrait. What emerges is a remarkable encounter with a young woman, and a story that has broader implications about being young, being at the cusp of adulthood, and finding one’s identity; about how documentaries reveal, provoke and conceal.
2000, 24 min
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