Dennis Lim, writing in the New York Times, marvels at Oregon director Aaron Katz‘ ability to rise above mumblecore aesthetics while shooting on a mumblecore-esque budget.
One of the side effects of the realist tendency in American indie cinema, evidenced in films that privilege small moments and ineffable moods, is an aversion to — perhaps even a fear of — stories. In the low-key contexts of many of these movies, whether they are about young urbanite confusion (as in Andrew Bujalski’s films) or hardscrabble lives (as in Ramin Bahrani’s), narrative machinations are, often rightly, seen as superfluous or jarring, at odds with characters and social worlds that are portrayed in all their lifelike complexity.
But with “Cold Weather,” Mr. Katz has made a film that doesn’t sacrifice nuance and plausibility even as it heeds the storytelling requirements of a genre piece. He cited the Swedish vampire film “Let the Right One In” and Robert Altman’s western “McCabe and Mrs. Miller” as examples of movies that “subvert the genre but also take it seriously.” He added, “You don’t want the genre to be a throwaway thing, but you also don’t want it to take over and dictate what people have to do.”
It is the sworn duty of Oregon Movies, A to Z to point out that Aaron Katz references Carl Barks, another Oregon artist, in his conversation with New York Times’ Dennis Lim. Lim quotes Katz: “My sense of how a mystery can unfold is somewhat informed by not just Sherlock Holmes but also Uncle Scrooge comic books.”
Cold Weather is expected to hit Portland International Film Festival in February.