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NHNew Horizons / Afaq Jadida Competition

Almost in Love

Almost in Love

Original Title: Almost in Love
Director: Sam Neave
USA | English
2011 | 83min. | Colour
Subtitles: Arabic
Format: HDCAM
18+
You won't often mistake watching a movie for hanging out with friends at a dinner party, but in his latest feature, director Sam Neave makes you do just that. Shot in two uninterrupted 40-minute takes, Almost in Love swallows us into its story with a perfect marriage of improvisational naturalism and stylistic invention. In these "two single breaths," as Neave calls them, we watch lives play out in real time. Like flies on the wall, we absorb all of life’s comedy and drama and subtle transformations.

On a rooftop overlooking the Manhattan skyline, a group of thirtysomethings has gathered for a barbecue. They joke, drink some beer and wait for the host to fire up the grill. It feels like it’s happened a hundred times before. As the sun sets, a love triangle begins to unfurl. Kyle (Gary Wilmes) didn’t know it, but Sasha (Alex Karpovsky) invited his ex to the party. When the radiant Mia (Marjan Neshat) arrives, and the sun dips below the horizon, the night takes a life-altering new course. Eighteen months later, in the second segment, day breaks on an all-night celebration at a beach house, and we learn just how much this group of friends has changed –and how much they’ve stayed the same –since we last hung out.

Thematically, Almost in Love goes beyond the insular world of the New York hipster-artist set and probes the universal quest for love and identity. Neave, who ironically enough has won awards for his work as an editor, is virtuosic in his use of the long take, using sound design to coax us out of one conversation and into another. The device is much more than cinematic peacocking, though; Neave creates a raw theatricality that ups the ante for a generation of digital-age indie filmmakers who want to cut out all the moviemaking tricks and strike at the unembellished heart of their characters.

–Joel Hoglund

Contains: Adult themes

Director,  Sam Neave

Director,  Sam Neave

Sam Neave is Iranian by birth and a New Yorker by choice. His first feature, Cry Funny Happy (2003), premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award. He has worked on many features as an editor, winning Best Editor at the Woodstock Film Festival for Unknown Soldier. He has long been a collaborator of Iranian visual artist Shirin Neshat (ADFF Jury, 2010) and helped edit her first feature, Women Without Men (2009), which won the Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival.

Cast and Crew

Director
Sam Neave
Cast
Alan Cumming, Alex Karpovsky, Gary Wilmes, Marjan Neshat, Adam Rapp, Katherine Waterston
Production Company
Falling Rock Zone Productions
Producer
DL Glickman, Michaela McKee
Foreign Right Sales
Falling Rock Zone Productions
Executive Producer
DL Glickman
Screenwriter
Sam Neave
Cinematographer
Daniel McKeown
Art Director
Elizabeth Jones
Sound
Bryan Dembinski, Nick Huston
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