Something tells me when I look back on the spring of 2016, I’ll come to see this as “the down week”. Lots to come in the weeks ahead – including a lot of swell documentaries!


#52FilmsByWomen continued this week with Stacie Passon’s CONCUSSION.

Passon is an artist I was unfamiliar with before this project – which isn’t such an egregious oversight considering CONCUSSION is her first feature. In a way, that might be the best part of undertaking a project like this; it will introduce me to new talent I might have previously overlooked.

CONCUSSION is the story of a lesbian wife and mother named Abby who quietly spends a lot of her time trying to keep up with the herd. She goes to the gym, she’s involved at her kids’ school, she participates in book clubs. One day she takes a hit to the head, and after that things start to open-up for her. Her quest for “more” first leads her to hire a prostitute…and shortly thereafter, becoming one herself.

If you looked around at reviews of CONCUSSION, you’d notice that they were decidedly mixed…but for my money, this is quite a story to tell for one’s first film. For starters, it addresses the slight ennui that creeps in with settling into the station of being a suburban partner and parent. That moment of wondering “Is this it?” What’s more, it’s intriguing to see the dynamic play out between Abby (or “Elanor” when she’s turning tricks) and her Janes. Since most of them are younger, there’s a certain dynamic at play that one seldom sees in a film…not to mention what happens when she meets some older clients.

CONCUSSION is not the sort of film that would launch one thousand ships, but it does feel like it fills a void in the cinematic landscape. Besides crushing the Beschdel test, it centres on a very real woman with a very real life. We all know someone like Abby; someone who sits on the fourth bike in the second row at spinning class, and drives the grey SUV at pick-up time. People like her – people like us really – get restless. What happens if that restlessness is turned over to compromised morals?

This is a bit of a flawed movie, but it comes from a rather intriguing place. Passon leads us down an intriguing path that lends itself to other (and perhaps, better-realized) stories. Her next film is about a twisted relationship between a boy and his grandparents. If the raw relationships on display in CONCUSSION are an indicator, then I for one cannot wait to see more from Passon.


Here’s the week at hand…


THE JUNGLE BOOK – Far better than I thought it would be. More on this tomorrow.


Streaming/Blu-Rays/DVD’s I’ve Never Seen
Z FOR ZACHARIAH – Another example of an overhyped Sundance selection. good-but-not-great.
CONCUSSION – I want a wrap-around porch now. Oh, and a house to attach it to.
THE HITCH-HIKER – My blindspot for March.
LIFE – As a photographer and a fan of James Dean, this movie hit a certain soft spot for me.


Streaming/Blu-Rays/DVD’s I’ve Seen Before
THE AVENGERS – Like I said. Also, wanna go for schawarma?



Boxscore for The Year
63 First-Timers, 50 Re-Watched
19 Screenings
113 Movies in Total

How’s about you – seen anything good?