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LOOT at Stranger Than Fiction (11/2)

Tonight’s “Monday Night Special” edition of the Thom Powers and Raphaela Neihausen hosted Stranger Than Fiction series at the IFC Center features one of the most dizzyingly profound films of recent memory. Darius Marder’s Loot isn’t just proof that truth is stranger than fiction; in this case, it is infinitely richer than the very best of fiction. Marder turns his camera on Lance, a hustler-and-bustler who is always after a big score. When he hears about two separate World War II veterans, Darrel and Andrew, who have information that might lead to actual pots of gold at the end of the rainbow, he sees this as his ticket to glory. Unfortunately, Lance’s literal excavation sparks an emotional excavation into both Darrel and Andrew’s troubled pasts, which turns out to provide a haunting parallel with Lance’s own family situation.

Thinking about Loot too deeply makes one’s head spin, for it doesn’t seem possible that one filmmaker could happen upon a story so profoundly layered. Loot has the emotional gravity of Steinbeck and the narrative flair of the Coen Brothers, yet it is anything but fiction. It is a film that devastates on a multitude of levels, and is best experienced with as little pre-viewing knowledge as possible. As there is no impending DVD release on the calendar, be sure not to miss it tonight if you are in NYC. I will give this screening my own personal money back guarantee.

— Michael Tully

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Michael Tully is an award-winning writer/director whose films have garnered widespread critical acclaim, his projects having premiered at some of the most renowned film festivals across the globe. He is also the former (and founding) editor of this site. In 2006, Michael's first feature, COCAINE ANGEL, chronicling a tragic week in the life of a young drug addict, world premiered at the International Film Festival Rotterdam. The film immediately solidified the director as one of Filmmaker Magazine’s "25 New Faces of Independent Film,” a reputation that was reinforced a year later when his follow-up feature, SILVER JEW, a documentary capturing the late David Berman's rare musical performances in Tel Aviv, world-premiered at SXSW and landed distribution with cult indie-music label Drag City. In 2011, Michael wrote, directed, and starred in his third feature, SEPTIEN, which debuted at the 27th annual Sundance Film Festival before being acquired by IFC Films' Sundance Selects banner. A few years later, in 2014, Michael returned to Sundance with the world premiere of his fourth feature, PING PONG SUMMER, an ‘80s set coming-of-age tale that was quickly picked up for theatrical distribution by Gravitas Ventures. In 2018, Michael wrote and directed the dread-inducing genre film DON'T LEAVE HOME, which has been described as "Get Out with Catholic guilt in the Irish countryside" (IndieWire). The film premiered at SXSW and was subsequently acquired by Cranked Up Films and Shudder.

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