Billed as "a story about stolen love and stolen identities, shot on stolen film", Azazel Jacobs' refreshing DIY feature The GoodTimesKid opens today at Anthology Film Archives in New York. Minimalist in plot, comic in tone, and anarchic in spirit, the film has less heritage with the experimental cinema of Jacobs' father (avant-garde pioneer Ken Jacobs) and more connection to the love triangles of French luminaries like Godard, Truffaut and Vigo. (One of the film's highlights is a scene where Jacobs pays tribute to Pere Jules' show-and-tell in L'Atalante.)
The GoodTimesKid, though, is more than the sum of its influences. Jacobs gets memorable performances out of his two leads, and acquits himself nicely in a supporting role. The cinematography (shot with 35mm film, the production notes tell me, taken from a "Hollywood blockbuster") has a warm, intentionally unfocused languor that suits its characters.
Its ending prevents the film from being an out-and-out "feel good" movie, but there is some truth in advertising here. The GoodTimesKid is a good time.
Azazel Jacobs' The GoodTimesKid screens alongside Two Wrenching Departures, the new feature by his father, Ken Jacobs, from Wednesday, January 17 - Tuesday, January 23. Check Anthology Film Archives for screening times.