NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL 2020 REVIEW! I have lived in NYC for going on 13 years. Okay, I live in Ridgewood, Queens but whatever, it still counts because it’s in the five boroughs. Since before I lived here, I had always loved New York, along with most songs, films, and television shows that have anything to do with the legendary city. Joe Denardo and Paul Felten’s Slow Machine is not about New York per se, but it is definitely a New York movie. While it doesn’t share the same plot, the film’s tone reminds of another classic New York movie, Downtown 81. I guess I could also throw in Party Girl as its spiritual twin.
“Danielle, who might be Stephanie, lives in an upstate New York house where a band records an album.“
On the surface, Slow Machine appears to be a very simple film. An actress named Stephanie (Stephanie Hayes) gets too drunk one night and wakes up in a random apartment that belongs to someone “in law enforcement” named Gerard (Scott Sheperd). Gerard likes Stephanie, but she doesn’t have much use for him at first. He becomes a growing presence in her life, taking her to AA meetings and accompanying her to parties. However, something terrible happens.
Danielle, who might be Stephanie, lives in an upstate New York house where a band records an album. The band is comprised of actual musicians, including Eleanor Friedberger. One of the men living there knew that Danielle was in trouble, so he allows her to stay for a while. Danielle has a Southern accent. Stephanie is Swedish. The story itself is not told linearly, but the connections between Stephanie and Danielle are revealed.
"…a cool New York movie about a complex woman..."