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MDFF Selects: Fourteen with Dan Sallitt
Film critic and director Dan Sallitt introduces his latest feature — a sensitive explorations of female friendship and identity — followed by a post-screening Q&A. MDFF Selects Presented by Cinema Scope and TIFF is programmed by a group of local filmmakers and writers dedicated to discovering and championing new cinematic voices.
How rare and delightful to see a film follow the gentle rhythms of a female friendship as it warps, shifts, and transforms over time. Dan Sallitt's subtle and poignant Fourteen brilliantly captures the lives of two longtime friends, introspective Mara (Tallie Medel) and extroverted Jo (Norma Kuhling), as they switch partners, change jobs, and weather crises — most of them pertaining to Jo, whose addictive personality and adventurous spirit are often cause for Mara's concern.
Unlike Richard Linklater's Boyhood, where the passing of years is signalled through pop-culture milestones or other such signposts, Fourteen relies on small changes in character to suggest its temporal ellipses. Sallitt, in collaboration with his two leading actors, has here managed a formidable feat, seizing the spontaneity and humour of each individual moment while dovetailing these minor happenings into a much larger narrative of nearly imperceptible transformations. The result is a sometimes bewildering, frequently heartrending, and never less than stimulating viewing experience.