by Phil Hall
There's a perverse fascination in tracing a character's slide into a nervous breakdown. In States of Control, I had anticipated the usual quiet devolution of the thirty-something writer played by Jennifer van Dyck.
Instead, she takes on superhero strength. In one scene, she beats up a would-be mugger. Elsewhere, she dabbles in anonymous sex and porno to defrost her libido. She follows a twisted survivalist code that forces her to go days without food or sleep. A woman who was once a humdrum nonentity accrues untapped physical strength and emotional overconfidence.
Director Zack Winestine, a cinematographer who began his career working as an assistant on Stanley Kubrick's The Shining, employs a docudrama format that skirts the edges of surrealism. We may not identify with his nihilistic heroine, yet it is impossible not to recognize the same damaging forces of daily existence in our world.
BOXOFFICE MAGAZINE review of States of Control
filmcritic.com review of States of Control
DVD Verdict review of States of Control
ARTS TODAY (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) interview with Zack Winestine
FILM THREAT interview with Zack Winestine
FILM FORECAST interview with Zack Winestine
PRINCETON Magazine review of States of Control
INTERNATIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER article about States of Control
WIRED Magazine review of States of Control
FILMRUTAN (Sweden) Ron Holloway's review of States of Control at the Mannheim International Film Festival