All Films • Documentary, 28-Jul-2021
A dense fog in the San Fernando Valley cancels a meeting of UFO hunters and causes an unexpected tragedy in the nearby mountains. “Calabasas 1/26/20,” directed by Xavier Rotnofsky, becomes a documentary portrait of the impromptu gathering of mourners at a park near the helicopter crash of Kobe Bryant. Though it’s inherently somber, it’s also a film that pays close attention to the peculiarities of human speech and behavior. As the gawking masses emerge from surrounding neighborhoods in a state of shock, we begin to learn about their own religious beliefs, jobs, dreams, attitudes, etc. Hot dog stands spring up; YouTubers record podcasts; a wannabe actor exchanges cards with the filmmakers. It’s a grim spectacle, poignant and strange. While it quickly pivots away from its UFO focus, it ends up capturing human beings that feel almost alien. -KA. Director, Editor, Artwork: Xavier Rotnofsky. Camera Operator: Marlo Madlangbayan Gaite-de Joya. Camera Operator: Ryan Bender. Camera Operator: Xavier Rotnofsky. Sound Mixer: Tony Giambrone Graphic Designer: Melanie Kwan. Music: William Basinski, Anna von Hausswolff.
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