“Intense” is the operative term here. Performed brilliantly by Ellison, Lucy is always walking the line between being composed and breaking down completely. Like any cinematic drama, circumstances push Lucy over the edge, and Ellison is right there along the way. It’s not an easy role to perform. As Lucien, Encarnacion plays an equally tricky role as the addictive personality who has to pick up his life after his greatest downfall thanks to a relapse to drug abuse.
Making Loud & Longing unique is the duo’s band of friends spanning the LGBTQIA+ spectrum. While watching, I couldn’t help but see this as a more modern and expanded take on Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City — the perspective of handling problems stray far off the straight white way.
“The most interesting aspect here is the tone.”
The most interesting aspect here is the tone. Ellison and Guiterman say the story “begins as a prototypical indie drama and morphs into a surrealistic psychological drama.” The very grainy cinematography switches between color and black-and-white to denote slipping between real and surreal as the leads’ tenuous grip on reality loosens more. Loud & Longing also plays around with slowing the frame rate down, which I’m not sure exactly works.
The production could have used a few million dollars more to get a handle on lighting, sound, and the ability to slow down and allow scenes to breathe here and there. Ah, the life of indie filmmaking. That said, the performances feel improvised, allowing a more authentic end product.
This film is not for everyone. Loud & Longing will appeal to fans of gritty independent dramas; though the phrase “New York City is a character” is a bit overused, this is a very New York Art Community film. For me, it’s a story of people struggling along their arduous journey of life. Though our experiences are different, the battle is the same.
Loud & Longing screened at the 2023 Lighthouse International Film Festival.
"…will appeal to fans of gritty independent dramas..."