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Rooftop Cinema: North By Current at Madison Museum Of Contemporary Art
September 1, 2022 @ 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm$7
Angelo Madsen Minax’s deeply felt documentary North By Current (2021) is tethered to unraveling a family tragedy as much as it is a family itself. Much like Poly Styrene: I Am A Cliché, which screened as part of Rooftop Cinema a few weeks ago, the filmmaker introduces their work by conjuring a long-internalized question to explore personal history. “How did you become who you became?” Minax asks, his voice stretched thin. There’s a contemplative confidence in his words, and yet his tone is exasperated, as he anticipates the confrontation of present reality and past relationships in returning home to the snowy stretches of rural Grayling, Michigan.
While dealing with the broad fallout from the sudden death of niece Kalla (his sister Jesse’s infant daughter) and a police investigation that rules it a homicide, which dredges up other familial woes surrounding addiction and abuse, Angelo also grapples with Mormon parents who reject his gender transition and artistic identity. In scenes that are both illuminating and devastating, complemented by Julien Baker‘s abstract and reverb-heavy score, North By Current interweaves a poetically splintered autobiography with a meditation on the filmmaking process. —Grant Phipps
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