Monday, July 20, 2020

Sister Tempest (2020)

Joe Badon has got to be one of the most unique filmmaker's working today. His films look like normal films, or films where you expect certain things to happen but he always bends and twists them in weird and wonderful ways.  His previous film GOD INSIDE MY EAR was nominally a horror film but revealed itself to be something else entirely. And for his current film, SISTER TEMPEST it is nominally the story of a sister trying to explain her relationship with her sister to a cosmic tribunal... and yet it's something more.

You will forgive me if I don't go into any detail about the plot but Badon has constructed a film with lots of twists and turns and seeming WTF bits that lay off of each other in such away that you really need to watch the film from first frame to last in order to fully get hat he is doing. Badon's film is one you have to work with and give yourself over to so that you make the connections yourself.  What I have loved about his work is he treats his audience like adults and he wants you to make the whole journey- so I'm not going to give you any short cuts- just see his film.

SISTER TEMPEST is film that pulls from everywhere and everything. It bends and defies genres by blending horror,drama,musical, experimental, science fiction, satire and everything you can think of into a one of kind mix. It is a film that looks like every other film you'v ever seen and yet it is so masterful that even though you can see where all the pieces came from you still find yourself marveling at the uniqueness of the work. Where filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino pillage what has gone before and revel in daring you to figure out where the pieces came from Badon instead takes the pieces and simply use them for his own ends. He doesn't care where things came from or how they echo, he simply uses the bits because they work to tell his story. That is a mark of true storyteller.

I am in awe of SISTER TEMPEST.

It is a film that I will need to revisit multiple times more because Joe Badon has created a film that has a great deal to say about the things we say in the moment, about how promises affect our lives and what happens in the end. Of course Badon has other factors in play pondering life and existence and how it all fits together. Its a heady mix of idea blended together in such away that we are always being forced to engage with it. You can not watch the film and be complacent, you can not let it wash over you.

While I might argue that the run time at a whisker over two hours is a bit a long, I wouldn't change anything. Badon has formulated a perfectly modulated film and tweaking it would undoubtedly result in a film out of balance.

Currently heading to festivals across the globe I urge you to make an effort to see SISTER TEMPEST.  While I will not promise that you will love this film as deeply as I do, I will promise that you will get to experience a film that is not like any other.

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