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New Orleans Film Festival: Closing Night Notes, and a Review of 'OK, Good'


The New Orleans Film Festival reels off its last screenings throughout the city tonight. There's still plenty of fresh cinema out there, including a look at a New Hampshire bishop, the Special Presentation of a film starring Helen Hunt that's soon to be in wide distrobution and fan favorite Trailer Park Jesus. With another successful year of the Fest coming to an end, NoDef's April Siese takes a look back at one of the week's featured selections. Click through for her review of OK, Good:

 

To quote the late writer and filmmaker Susan Sontag, “There is, in a sense, no such thing as boredom. Boredom is only another name for a certain species of frustration.” That “species of frustration” metastasizes throughout Ok, Good. Directed by Daniel Martinico, the film follows commercial actor Paul Kaplan's attempts at making his Hollywood dreams a reality through countless auditions and frenetic physical-movement classes, all the while being propelled by a nondescript car pumping out motivational messages that border on the hedonistic. Each segment, from audition to workshop to Paul's interactions with the outside world, come at you in different styles of boredom; subspecies of frustration. This isn't to say that Ok, Good is a boring movie, rather it's incredibly effective at detailing what it means to struggle to find meaning in the mundane.

 

Protagonist Paul (played by Hugo Armstrong, who co-wrote the film with Martinico) is viscerally awkward as he follows up on previous auditions and the status of some tarnished headshots. He seemingly finds balance in the often ambiguous stage directions given for each audition (a particularly notable one calls for sparkling eyes) though the emotions and articulations are ultimately prefabricated. At the completely other end of the spectrum sits the physical-movement class where screams and guttural cries meet writhing, tense bodies. Eventually what separates the mild-mannered Paul from his mercurial physical-movement exercises is blurred and the inevitable breakdown occurs. At times frustrating and yes, boring, Ok, Good ultimately succeeds.




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Contributors

Renard Boissiere, Evan Z.E. Hammond, Naimonu James, Wilson Koewing, J.A. Lloyd, Nina Luckman, Dead Huey Long, Alexis Manrodt, Joseph Santiago, Andrew Smith, Cynthia Via, Austin Yde

Photographers


Art Director

Michael Weber, B.A.

Editor


Listings Editor

Linzi Falk

Editor Emeritus

Alexis Manrodt


B. E. Mintz


Stephen Babcock

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