COUNTING, than on any movie he's watched in long while. This meant pressing "pause" far too often and/or going back to view what he'd missed. This is indeed an "art film," which will mean that at least half of my audience will probably stop reading right now. But there's no other way to put it. Counting, demanding but rewarding, doesn't compare to much else--maybe anything--I've seen, and you have to be willing to take a chance and simply go with the movie-maker's flow. Yet after Cohen's Museum Hours, most folk who saw that quietly spellbinding film will most likely want to take the chance. (Museum Hours seems practically a mainstream movie next to this new one.
Jem Cohen's movie (the filmmaker is shown at left) is to think of it as if you're about to look through someone's scrapbook of photos -- in this case mostly moving images. But, no, it's not your Aunt Millie's favorite shots; this is the work of a born photog-rapher. Even his shots of the most mundane activi-ties are elegantly composed.
Divided into 15 chapters of various lengths (I think the lengthiest is the first -- fifteen minutes shot in New York City from 2012 through 2014 -- the film lasts 112 minutes. This is long for a documentary, particularly one without any real narrative drive. And yet, I would not have given up a single one of the fifteen segments during which we travel from the U.S. to Russia to Turkey and back again (most of the time is divided between the USA and Russia).
Cinema Guild and running 112 minutes, Counting, after its Brooklyn debut at the BAM Cinemafest, opens theatrically today in New York at the IFC Center. Other dates and cities? Maybe, once Cinema Guild gets a bit more on the ball and updates its website, we'll find out.