Stephanie Hayes is brilliant as Stephanie/ Danielle. She’s the disaffected artistic type, a very cool person. So cool that she is friends with Chloe Sevigny (who plays a kind of alternate universe version of herself). There is a scene where she and Sevigny are having drinks, and Sevigny blows off a female fan. It made me want to never approach her should I see her in public, but it also seemed like something I would do if I were famous. The girl says, “Excuse me, I’m sorry to interrupt.” Sevigny cuts her off with, “You say excuse me when you’re going to interrupt someone. Can’t you see I’m talking to someone I already know?” Ouch. Something tells me she’s probably not like that in real life, but it’s a great scene. When the fan calls in a bomb threat, Chloe says, “Oh, we’re fine” when a waiter informs them about said threat.
It’s a great scene from an actress I admire—anyway, back to Stephanie Hayes’s performance. She plays a Texas girl just as well as she plays a Swedish alcoholic. She’s an enigmatic character who seems to always get stuck in the wrong place at the wrong time. Scott Shepherd is also excellent as the mysterious “law enforcement officer” Gerard.
“…more dependent on mood and tone than the actual plot…”
In Slow Machine, everything is more dependent on mood and tone than the actual plot, which is interesting, but not what makes the film. It is shot beautifully by Joe Denardo, and the script by Paul Felten is hilarious and sad in equal turns. The most impressive thing is that the crew was very barebones, and they still came out with something of high quality. The music by Eleanor Friedberger and her band is excellent. The plot twist that ties Stephanie and Danielle together is great.
I’m trying to tell you that this movie is absolutely fantastic! It is a little on the experimental side, so if that’s something you’re not into, now you know. Other than that, if you want a cool New York movie about a complex woman, check out Slow Machine.
Slow Machine screened at the 2020 New York Film Festival.
"…a cool New York movie about a complex woman..."