KT: “Apart”

Posted: July 25, 2011 in In Theatres, KT Personal, Reviews

I had the opportunity to screen Aaron Rottinghaus’ movie, “Apart” at the IIFF.  [JC saw it at the first screening and insisted that I see it as well.]  I wanted to offer my opinion on this film so that you can get a different perspective on it.

I am still processing what I watched on Sunday. I am grateful that we were able to interview the director, Aaron and have some questions answered.  [Listen to our next podcast to hear the interview with Aaron.]  The question I asked of him was regarding the screenplay: did he write it linearly or was it written the way we saw on the screen?  He said that he and co-writer Josh (also the lead actor) always wrote it out of sequence; this alone is a marvel to me.

J.C. had said to me after he saw the film the first time that he was reminded of “Donnie Darko” and “Memento.”  Honestly, if I hadn’t heard that opinion, I wouldn’t have seen those comparisons.  That being said, I think I viewed the film differently because of having this lens on.

This intelligent and complex film is hauntingly beautiful.  Rottinghaus and Cinematographer J.P. Lipa use shadow and light in order to invoke scene, setting and time period in a way to keep us on the right storyline.  Olyesa Rulin’s eyes are full of tragedy, and this adds to the beauty that she brings to the film.  I had a hard time connecting with Josh Danzinger’s main character, Noah, and I believe this is where I’m getting hung up on when thinking about whether I actually liked this film.

I suppose that the comparison I can offer is, just as with “Donnie Darko” is more appreciated after multiple viewings – when you find little nuances and things you may have missed the first time around – I believe the same will be for “Apart.”  I look forward to watching this one again upon its distribution.

Either way, Aaron Rottinghaus has made a beautiful, tragic film by developing real case studies, all while exuding a deeply personal and touching story.  It is definitely worth a watch.  However, I caution readers: do not try to figure out this movie.  Watch it – enjoy it – and let it unravel before your eyes.  Don’t ruin it by injecting your own thoughts or theories into the story.

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