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SCREENING: ALWAYS SHINE

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ALWAYS SHINE

2016 / 85min

DIRECTOR: SOPHIA TAKAL

Q&A with Sophia Takal and Jordan Crucchiola, Editor at Vulture

Two friends, both actresses at different points in their career, travel north from Los Angeles to Big Sur for a weekend vacation in this twisty, psychological drama from director Sophia Takal. Both see the trip as an opportunity to reconnect after years of competition and jealousy has driven a wedge between them. But upon arrival to their isolated, forest retreat, the pair discovers that their once intimate friendship has deteriorated into forced conversations, betrayals both real and imagined, petty jealousies, and deep-seated resentment. As the women allow their feelings to fester, each begins to lose their bearings on reality and the true nature of their relationship. Mackenzie Davis ("Halt and Catch Fire") and Caitlin FitzGerald ("Masters of Sex") give brave and raw performances as Beth and Anna, two women whose ideas of success are dictated as much by external cultural criterion as their own sense of self-worth. Beautifully photographed and assuredly directed by Takal, Always Shine wraps itself in an evocative shroud of dread and paranoia that lingers long after the final frame.

Sophia Takal wrote, directed, edited and starred in the feature film Green, which won the 2011 SXSW/Chicken & Egg award. and was nominated for a Gotham Award. She also produced, edited and starred in Lawrence Michael Levine's Gabi on the Roof in July (2010) and produced and starred in his follow up feature Wild Canaries (2014). Her film Always Shine premiered at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival to critical acclaim and was released by Oscilloscope Laboratories.

Jordan Crucchiola is a Los Angeles-based editor with Vulture. As the publication's staff specialist in horror and dark genre cinema, she works to uplift the work of filmmakers and performers who don't regularly catch the attention of mainstream news outlets, and has a particularly strong interest in the roles gender and sexuality play in suspense films. (All the better if those movies can include extremely complicated female friendships and instances of robots playing people playing robots.) Jordan has been a culture journalist for more than ten years, having previously worked at Wired at Rolling Stone, and has yet to experience any decline in her enthusiasm for talking to people about the art they make and the art they love. 

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