Depicts the pervasive effects the proliferation of the online environment has placed on human interaction and adolescent identity formation in a singular construction that subverts any simplistic notions of genre. The interconnectivity of communication brought forth by technology is part genuine, part abstraction - it's not a supplement to in-person social interaction. Dysphoria is investigated through a singular vision. The body and mind, our physical and mental identities, are malleable entities perpetually sculpted by scientific and technological advancement, in which the externalities themselves are not consistently clear.
One of the most mesmerizing distillations of youth ever constructed, and so much more, Patrick Tam's Nomad is a revelatory look at modern society that masterfully wields the right-of-passage motif to deliver a subversive, precisely crafted investigation into existential notions of what it means to live. The foundations of modernity are ones of conditioning, and what Nomad does so effectively and distinctly with the right of passage motif is he posits society itself as the flawed enterprise instead of placing the blame on vague notions of naivety, inexperience, or progressive growth afforded to youth during their transition. The abrupt tonal shift is intentionally disorienting but extremely effective, and in the denouement, Tam's thematic aims come into focus. The problem is structural - society and the way it has been constructed lends itself to pain and conflict and has become far too far removed from our foundational impulse - love/longing/pleasure. Tam's Nomad questions whether subjugation by economic and socially constructed arenas made us lose sight of how we truly want to live. The search for utopia, in a sense. The more films of Patrick Tam I experience, the more I question how a filmmaker this spectacular has largely been forgotten (at best) or ignored.
A social-realist drama that deploys a distinct formal style rooted in movement and observation, Pebbles is an impeccably well-crafted film that traverses a story of familial strife and Internalized anger to deliver a curious and confident work ripe for investigations into the tangled relationship between internal notions of choice and the external conditions which define them. Impeccably crafted, Pebbles is a highly visceral experience that one doesn't tend to see from a film with social realist aims. Its narrative is simple, the familial relations somewhat opaque, yet the formal style deployed here is rigorous, as it attempts to construct a mature story of familial violence purveyed through an expansive lens of understanding in which the personal, social, and environmental are intertwined. The tumultuous relationship between a deeply combustible father and his despondent son detailed here isn't rooted in moral judgment but observation, as if to suggest that while this father's actions are heinous and unjustified, they are not singular or unique but a result of the harsh conditions of this environment -Internalized pain externally expressed through rage and violence. Pebbles is astute in how it navigates such complexities, never justifying this man's rage-filled temperament while simultaneously aiming at grander notions of understanding that go well beyond vague notions of agency and personal responsibility
Love of all things cinema brought me here.