Review of: (Miss Kitty) Amy 

reviewed by AlCielo on 07/21/2011
AlCielo
Lament for Amy
Even for an Elmer Lang film, this is an unusually complex fusion of reality, re-enactment, and imagination. The tension between empathy (from the images of Amy) and distancing (largely from the narrator's comments) reminds me a little of Bunuel's "Land without Bread." Part sermon, part witnessing (but ultimately neither), "Miss Kitty" invites us to reflect on the unknowability of other people, and of life itself. The one certainty seems to be that we are drawn (both as filmmakers and as film viewers) to speculate on our ability to know things whenever we're confronted with something from outside our familiar bubbles. There's a tragic momentum of decline--an inertia of motion from falling out a window--from the artist who knew (or thought he knew) her, to the filmmaker, who seeks to know her, to the druggies in the park, who know of her, but don't care much. The key, as I interpret the film, is not so much to know or to seek to know, as it is to empathize, without superimposing our own comfortable, shopworn perspectives ("things you wouldn't let your daughter do"). My only suggestion, in the event of a re-edit, would be to include more footage (maybe still photos if necessary) of Amy herself, particularly in the final sections.

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