Fleeing her mom’s creepy fiancé and the suffocating boredom of Florida in the summer, teenaged Chrissy enlists best friend June to help find her estranged father. The Wolf Knife follows the girls on a digressive road trip to Nashville, encountering dirty old men and kitschy tourist attractions along the way.
Detouring from road movie conventions, Laurel Nakadate’s striking low-budget feature focuses instead on the girls’ conflicted relationship, revealed by their awkward conversational rhythms and suppressed erotic gestures. Nakadate, an acclaimed photographer and video artist, has explored this ambiguous territory before, notably in a series of brave and unsettling videos documenting her sexually-charged encounters with lonely middle-aged men. While predatory men also loom in the sun-baked edges of this fever dream, The Wolf Knife belongs to Chrissy and June. Turning her attention to these young women, Nakadate shows an uncommon sensitivity to the emotional textures of adolescence. Through the expressive use of color, cockeyed compositions, and a provocatively voyeuristic style, Nakadate charts an interior journey fraught with sexual mystery and danger. –Los Angeles Film Festival
Also: Remembering actress Martha Stewart and production designer David Doernberg.