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Moving a film by Adinah Dancyger. With Hannah Gross. 2019, USA, 8 min. A tragicomic love/hate letter to New York City in 16mm. Women to watch: Five new shorts by exciting voices

During the month of November, Le Cinéma Club is launching “Women to Watch”, a series dedicated to remarkable emerging female directors. This edition spotlights recent work in American independent cinema, all marked by fantastic filmmaking instinct, intelligence and originality.

 

We open the series with Moving, written, directed and edited by New York filmmaker Adinah Dancyger. About one young woman’s Sisyphean quest to get a mattress up a staircase and into her walk-up apartment, this gracefully contained and conceived short, features a captivating, nearly wordless performance by Hannah Gross, the brilliant young actor recently seen in Rick Alverson’s The Mountain (2018), Matthew Porterfield’s I Used to Be Darker (2013) and David Fincher’s Mindhunter (2017). Shot on 16mm in a single, physically challenging day, it premiered last month at the New York Film Festival and screens now in its online premiere.

 

The latest of Dancyger’s three shorts, Moving finds her experimenting with new combinations of tones and styles. The familiar urban chore of the title becomes a source of comedy and tragedy, seamlessly intermixed by Dancyger, who drew on a similarly impossible solo move of her own right after after college for the script. For the film’s visual design, she chose to start wide and free, and to move toward shots that were progressively tighter, more constricted and mental.

 

 

“The final section is a more abstracted, subjective experience. It’s my favorite sequence, not only because my eye naturally gravitates towards extreme close-ups, but since it transcends the literal act of transporting a mattress, to reach the metaphorical reasoning behind making the film at all, which is an expression of frustration and anger.” ADINAH DANCYGER

 

A New Yorker born and raised, Dancyger knows the daily annoyances of city life well, but finds ways to express them with humor and an eye for everyday beauty. She conceived the film as “a love/hate letter to a beautifully unreasonably place, where we struggle endlessly to create sanctuaries in our small rooms with mediocre views.”

 

Korean-Polish, first-generation American director Dancyger studied film at Bard College under Kelly Reichardt and So Yong Kim. Her first short, Chopping Onions (2015) played at the Berlinale and Cannes, and Cheer Up Baby (2017) screened at Sundance and the New York Film Festival. In 2016 she collaborated with Mykki Blanco on Dazed video I Want A Dyke For President, and she is now completing a four-part visual album for Okay Kaya, shot between Japan and Europe. She is currently writing her first feature film.

Credits for
Moving
cast
Hannah Gross, John Wilson, Richard Vetere, Sam Taffel, Agnes Kubeczko, Bret D. Schlussman, Oda Johnson, Ondine Hudson & Brandon Eggs
written by
Adinah Dancyger
produced by
Gabby Green
executive produced by
Olmo Schnabel
cinematography
Mia Cioffi Henry
sound
Frankie de Fusco
music
Joel Dancyger, Delicate Steve & John Errol
editing
Adinah Dancyger
production design
Victoria Cronin