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VODetails: ‘Open Five’

VODetails: 'Open Five'

More and more films premiere on Video on Demand — if they don’t simply bypass a theatrical release altogether. Because VOD reviews are often scarce and hard to find, Criticwire created VODetails, a recurring column to help you figure out whether a new VOD release is worth your hard-earned dollar.  This time we’re looking at Open Five,” the latest film from director/actor Kentucker Audley, who people used to describe as a mumblecore filmmaker back when people were still described as mumblecore filmmakers.  Now I don’t know what to call him. Let’s just give him his own subgenre: kentuckercore.  We’ll write the New York Times thinkpiece about it later.

Director: Kentucker Audley

Cast: Jake Rabinbach, Shannon Esper, Kentucker Audley, Genevieve Angelson

Official Synopsis: “Open Five” isn’t really an “official synopsis” kind of movie, but here’s how Richard Brody described the film in The New Yorker: “During a brief stay in Brooklyn, Jake (Rabinbach), a young Memphis musician (and native New Yorker), connects with Lucy (Esper), a young actress he persuades to come down South and pay him a visit. She arrives with her friend Rose (Angelson), also an actress, who promptly pairs up with his friend Kentucker (Audley), a struggling independent filmmaker. The plaiting of fiction and personal documentary… lends extra poignancy and self-deprecation to the low-key romantic agonies and financial struggles of ambitious yet uncertain bohemians.”



Richard Brody, The New Yorker:

“Audley’s movie has the feeling of sketches from life — a wealth of emotion and experience emerge both from its brisk lines and from its white spaces.”

Steve Dollar, The Wall Street Journal:

“This tale of two fleeting romances, made and unmade over a weekend, is at least as disarming for what it sees as for what its characters say (or don’t say).”

Ronnie Scheib, Variety:

“The strength of the film is that director Audley, together with lenser Joe Swanberg (a venerable mumblecore helmer himself), poses the conundrum [about committment] less through dialogue than in purely visual terms.”

A.O. Scott, The New York Times:

“May be notable mainly for shifting the landscape of aimless, youthful contemplation from the city to the countryside, but its record of the ambivalent desires and drifting ambitions of a group of friends is artful enough to be touching as well as vague.”

Chuck Bowen, Slant Magazine:

“More of a question than a movie, that question being ‘Should we, like, make a movie?'”

Open Five” premieres on VOD tonight, March 29th, at KentuckerAudley.com, with a live intro at 8:00 PM eastern, and a live Q&A following the screening.

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