Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Review: “Scary About Sixty-First” Doesn’t Live Up to Its Ambitions

The Times aims to analyze theatrical film releases during COVID-19 pandemic… Since going to the movies is risky at this time, we remind readers to follow safety and health guidelines. developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local health officials

It is hard not to admire the level of ambition in the debut film of the scriptwriter-director Dasha Nekrasova “Terrible sixty-first”. Shot on 16mm film, the film is partly a rambling comedy about self-centered 20-year-olds, partly a series of riffs on the bloody Italian thrillers Jallo and Eyes Wide Shut by Stanley Kubrick, and partly – no joke – diving into conspiracy theories. related to the life and death of billionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

But great ideas don’t automatically create great movies. Scary Sixty-one is strewn across a few hilarious lines and striking imagery over 81 minutes, but for such a short film, it’s frustratingly sloppy.

Madeline Quinn (who also co-wrote the script) plays Noelle, who, against her common sense, moves into a posh apartment in Manhattan with Addie (Betsy Brown), a casual friend she finds annoying. After an anonymous stranger (played by Nekrasov) shows up and proclaims that the ladies live in one of Epstein’s old sex dens, Noel falls down the rabbit hole of dark web exploration while Addy begins to act strange, seemingly possessed by one of Epstein’s minors. victims of the attack.

Mark Rapaport has most of the film’s best moments as he plays Addy’s hypersexual, lackluster boyfriend, Greg. Some of the harshest social criticisms in Scary for Sixty-one come from Greg, who represents a paternalistic society in which men take their sexual desires first. (When Addie sees a nightmarish vision of one of Epstein’s eerie hot oil massages, he replies, slyly, “What kind of oil?”)

But after a promising discovery, the plot goes in a circle. The last half of the film is mostly repetitive scenes in which Noel and a stranger walk around New York and exchange Epstein’s increasingly paranoid theories. And back at the apartment, Addie speaks in the creaky voice of a “little girl” and rolls around half-naked with children’s toys and photographs of some of Epstein’s famous friends.

Nekrasova has some remarkably big chances in Scary Sixty-one, for example, daring to wow audiences with a scene based on Epstein’s death by strangulation, and pushing multiple sex scenes beyond simply “transgressive.”

But that courage comes at the expense of consistency. This film offers a barrage of provocations and the latest cultural references that are never fully connected. He continues to approach the brink of saying something clearly and violently about sex, power, and class before returning to the simpler path of pure shock value.

‘Scary sixty-first’

Evaluated: Not rated

Duration: 1 hour, 21 minutes

Playing: In Los Feliz 3

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