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Marina Antunes [Celluloid 10.25.16] Canada drama

Until now, Lev Lewis has been best known as an accomplished composer but with his debut feature The Intestine, he also proves to have some considerable talent as a writer/director.

On the surface, The Intestine is a weird little dramatic thriller starring Melanie J. Scheiner as Maya, a young woman barely eking out an existence in a big city. She works a crummy job, lives in a dumpy apartment with her drug addicted mother and is generally miserable.

While out one night she picks up a man and spends the night at his well appointed house in the suburbs. She wakes up alone in the big house and spends the day snooping around. When he doesn't come home that night, rather than going home, she spends the night in the big house, imagining that she belongs there.

One night turns into a couple and soon, Maya has moved herself into the house and even befriended the young woman who has purchased and is building in the plot of land next door. Things seem to be going well for Maya until the man's sister comes looking for her apparently missing brother. From here, The Intestine turns into a mix of mystery thriller as the audience tries to come to grasp with what has happened to the missing man and what exactly Maya is up to - though it quickly becomes clear that she will go to any means to stay in her comfortable new home.

Much of The Intestine unfolds in silences and looks and Scheiner, best known for her turn in Soft in the Head (a festival darling from a few years ago) has great intensity and presence and quietly carries the movie which is often confounding because of all the questions it raises. There are hints that perhaps Maya has done something mischievous to the missing man and the longer she spends in the house, the clearer it becomes that there's something nefarious at play.

My major complaint about The Intestine are the night scenes. There's no reason for a movie to look bad in this day and age but many of the night scenes here are grainy, dark and ugly. Thankfully, the majority of the movie takes place during the day and really, the movie's other aspects overshadow the mediocre visuals.

I walked away from The Intestine a little under whelmed but in the time since I've seen it, I've gone back to it on more than one occasional and found myself thinking of a scene or a moment. Most often it's the movie's final moment in which Lewis throws an understated bombshell which completely changes the movie.

The more I think about it, the more I want to re-watch The Intestine and that's definitely a good sign.

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tomswift (5 years ago) Reply

Err ... hmm ... is the missing guy a Proctologist?


clara (5 years ago) Reply

what is the ¨understated bombshell which completely changes the movie.¨?

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