A couple weeks ago at the Toronto International Film Festival, I met up with critic Jordan Cronk and we exchanged thoughts on our favorite films from the festival’s Wavelengths program of avant-garde shorts and features. Jordan was assigned to write about Wavelengths for Keyframe: you can read his separate reports on the features and shorts he saw. I was in town for only a few days, so instead of trying to cast a wide net across the Festival’s expansive offerings, I locked in on Wavelengths as my central focus. This decision proved to be immensely rewarding, as the standout films in the program presented concentrated doses of walloping, boundary-busting, all-consuming cinema.
Watch Peak Wavelengths: The Best New Experimental Films
It happened that Jordan spotlighted three features (Horse Money by Pedro Costa; From What Is Before by Lav Diaz; and Episode of the Sea by Lonnie van Brummelen and Siebren de Haan ) while I picked three shorts (The Innocents by Jean-Paul Kelly; Detour de Force by Rebecca Baron; and Sea of Vapors by Sylvia Schedelbauer). While many of these films, particularly the shorts, have slim prospects for playing theatrically in most locations, it is well worth keeping track to see if they may pop up in a repertory theater, microcinema or film festival near you. New Yorkers for instance should check the Projections lineup at the New York Film Festival to see which of shorts are included (the answer: all of them!). And who knows if they may turn up on Fandor in time….
Kevin B. Lee is a filmmaker, critic, video essayist and founding editor of Keyframe. He tweets at @alsolikelife.