Storms Named After People
Jess is alone in Tarpon Springs, Florida on Christmas Eve. “Storms Named After People,” directed by Sarah Ballard, is a poetic glimpse into the headspace and disaffection of a young woman skulking around a small tourist town avoiding her father. She tries to delay and defer — instead of returning her dad’s texts after she lands, she lies about a flight delay and then a cancellation. We don’t learn much about Jess other than she’s at odds with her surroundings and loved ones (one particularly striking image of disconnection finds Jess sitting alone in a kitschy, brightly lit bakery looking depressed). After ambling through town debating whether to respond to her dad, she instead meets up with a friend and continues her wanderings. Ballard’s wispy, free-floating narrative is mostly absent of backstory or dialogue, but locks into a mood and delivers rich feelings from its quiet vacation setting and gloomy youth.