Movie/review

FACETS Reopening on September 17th with Anne at 13,000 Ft. | Chaz’s Journal

Having had its world premiere at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival, “Anne at 13,000 Ft.” went on to win such awards as Best Canadian Film by the Toronto Film Critics Association and Best Actress in a Canadian Film (Deragh Campbell) by the Vancouver Film Critics Circle. Following in the footsteps of celebrated Toronto New Wave auteurs like David Cronenberg and Atom Egoyan, while also being favorably compared to American directors John Cassavetes and Noah Baumbach, “Anne at 13,000 Ft.” represents the next generation of filmmakers whose work embodies essential themes about identity and alienation, while also choosing to stay and make a living in Canada.

Writer/Director Radwanski (“Heavy this Hammer,” “Tower“) specifically wrote the leading role in “Anne at 13,000 Ft.” for Campbell (“I Used to be Darker”), knowing her capacity to portray the desperate life of a fragile young woman coping to preserve her identity while struggling to belong. Using handheld cameras and natural light to create a claustrophobic environment, the audience is immersed in Anne’s inner world as she works at a Toronto daycare center where she bickers needlessly with colleagues, is more interested in daydreaming with the children than supervising them, and whose seemingly grounded life gives way to increased anxiety and recklessness. For her best friend Sarah’s (musician Dorothea Paas) bachelorette party, they go skydiving, which is life-changing for Anne as she discovers a sense of release, clarity, and focus.

Charles Coleman, Cinema Program Director of FACETS, explains why he chose this film: “During difficult times, we often find ourselves trying to cope with anxiety, when the more appropriate emotional reaction might be anger, sadness, or frustration. ‘Anne at 13,000 Ft.’ offers up something uniquely humane and identifiable, as during this pandemic all of us have felt like Anne—isolated and insulated from others. This remarkable film, which I chose to exhibit as FACETS, once again open to the public, is a breathtaking character study in a mesmerizing performance by Campbell. Her struggles as an awkward, young woman managing her relationship with the demands of society, parallels with our experience as we navigate returning to normal during a tumultuous time while striving to connect with a world we no longer recognize.”

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