Archive of films The Unspeakable Act / The Unspeakable Act

USA
2012, 91 min

Section: Another View
Year: 2012

Seventeen-year-old Jackie Kimball is perhaps a tad too interested in her older brother Matthew. When the young man leaves for university, Jackie’s psychological issues intensify.… Dan Sallitt treats the topic of incest with uncommon circumspection. His sophisticated directorial style allows him to delve deeply into his characters à la the great directing masters Ingmar Bergman and Robert Bresson.


Synopsis

Seventeen-year-old Jackie Kimball lives in an idyllic old house in Brooklyn with her widowed mother, her younger sister Yolanda and her brother Matthew, one year her senior. The family sees good relations between siblings as entirely natural, except that Jackie is too fixated on her brother. She gets distressed when Matthew brings back his first serious date to meet the family. When her brother leaves home for university, Jackie’s neurosis just gets worse. She receives a little help from a friendly therapist, but she essentially has to deal with her situation in her own quiet way… In his subtle psychological film, screenwriter, director and film editor Dan Sallitt employs unusual tact to treat the theme of incest. His sophisticated method of directing probes deep inside his characters, despite the apparent emotional inertia of the images; the latter, however, conjure up a spiritual charge similar to what we might experience in the works of the masters of direction: Carl Theodor Dreyer, Ingmar Bergman and Robert Bresson.

About the director

Dan Sallitt (b. 1955, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania) studied at Harvard and UCLA and then established himself as a film critic. In 1980 he began writing for the weekly Los Angeles Reader, of which he was also editor in the period 1983-85. He has also published articles in a number of magazines (Slate, Chicago Reader, Wide Angle, Senses of Cinema) and on the websites Senses of Cinema and MUBI.com. He started up his own film blog entitled Thanks for the Use of the Hall in November 2008. He debuted in 1986 with a relationship video going by the provocative title of Polly Perverse Strikes Again! He worked for a computer company in order to get some cash together for his next, critically acclaimed project Honeymoon (1998). His subsequent film, a drama about the relationship between two sisters, All the Ships at Sea (2004), was equally well received.

Contacts

Dan Sallitt
301 Cumberland St., Apt. F1, NY 11238, New York
United States of America
Tel: +1 718 852 599 8
Fax: +1 212 788 648 9
E-mail: sallitt@post.harvard.edu

About the film

Color, HD CAM
International premiere

Section: Another View
   
Director: Dan Sallitt
Screenplay: Dan Sallitt
Dir. of Photography: Duraid Munajim
Editor: Dan Sallitt
Producer: Shari Berman, Jaime Christley, Ania Trzebiatowska, Dan Sallitt
Production: Static Productions
Cast: Tallie Medel, Sky Hirschkron
Contact: Dan Sallitt

Guests

Dan Sallitt

Film Director

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