Panorama | Contemporary World Cinema
Ted Fendt’s taut 61-minute feature debut follows Mike [Mike Maccherone], a listless Haddonfield, N.J. pizza delivery guy who offers to fill a sublet for a smarmy sort-of friend in Philadelphia and pick up his shifts at a walking-tour company. From there the shaggy-dog narrative unfolds segment by segment, and in each leg of Mike’s anti-journey Fendt subtly plays with his limitations as a leading man, almost completely dispensing with dramatic psychology in favour of a documentary-like attentiveness to gesture and openness to chance… Fendt renders these incidents with a deliberation, assurance and sensitivity to forms of everyday inconsideration that evidence his status as an unapologetic formalist, sly humourist and unlikely moralist.
Short Stay manages to contain multitudes despite initially seeming unassuming and sparse, unexpectedly locating a wholly new and refreshingly unsentimental brand of humanism within the mundane fabric of the kinds of lives that cinema hasn’t hitherto deigned to depict. Fendt carefully bypasses any immediate resemblances to mumblecore, instead drawing from his own unique host of influences (Straub-Huillet, Moullet, Rohmer, Henry King, sundry others) to arrive at a way of working and a constellation of themes and tones that has become his and his alone…Shot and projected on film.—Dan Sullivan, Cinema Scope
Preceded By: Indefinite PitchDirector: James N. Kienitz Wilkins / USA, 2016, 23 min.
Various meanings of the word “pitch,” including the sonic. Screened on DCP.