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20 Ratings

Notes on an Appearance

Directed by Ricky D’Ambrose
United States, 2018


A young man disappears amid talk of violence and demagoguery, leaving behind an obscure cache of letters, postcards, and notebooks.

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Notes on an Appearance Directed by Ricky D’Ambrose
D’Ambrose’s movie, so deceptively light, is in fact a packed dossier, loaded with information and pieces of physical evidence that, by virtue of being singled out in those recurring inserts, appear to take on a heightened relevance to the case at hand.
August 17, 2018
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What’s striking about Notes is its determined rigor—and perhaps a certain cerebral show-offiness, although that’s a characteristic that the film appears to send up in itself. At any rate, this film hits the viewer—assuming the viewer isn’t totally resistant to its unapologetically rarefied appeal—as a sharp, bracing draft of icy water.
August 16, 2018
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Watching it requires learning how to watch it. Static shots are edited in a deliberately primitive style, eliding crucial bits of narrative. The camera often fixates on ostensible clues: a postcard, books, mysterious home movies in which no one is seen. . . . If Mr. D’Ambrose doesn’t quite earn his pretensions, it’s refreshing to see a filmmaker thinking so far outside the box.
August 16, 2018
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