Docu-fiction So Pretty captures ephemeral spaces created and shared by trans artist collective

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      So Pretty

      In English and German. Streaming online at the Cinematheque until October 15

      The wonderfully light ebb and flow of this visual poem reflects how ephemeral moments and interpersonal spaces are created, pass by, and vanish.

      With but the slightest of a narrative to thread together continuity, we follow four trans young adults through their days and nights. Visual artist Tonia (Jessie Jessica Dunn Rovinelli, who is also the film’s writer-director) arrives in New York City to meet her academic boyfriend Franz (Thomas Love), and share a communal poly home with another couple, Paul (Edem Dela-Seshie) and Erika (Rachika Samarth), as well as appearances by activist Helmut (Phoebe DeGroot).

      It’s a haven—a shelter from what is hinted all around them.    

      From everyday activities, like hanging out in the kitchen and fixing up the bedroom, to dancing under strobe lights at a nightclub to waking up in ever-changing configurations and moments of tenderness, the lives of the four main figures merge with the characters of German author Ronald M. Schernikau’s novella So Schön, which they are reading aloud for an art installation. 

      Yet it also offers indirect commentary upon what is not seen by most viewers—how queer people demonstrate commonality while simultaneously upending the traditional status quo by simply performing the most mundane of daily activities that everyone does.

      So Pretty
      The Cinematheque

      But when police injure Paul during a political protest (like everything in this film, the act is never shown—only the quiet moments afterward), the four individuals begin to drift apart—spaces develop between them—as they continue on with their artistic pursuits. 

      Rovinelli’s apropos blend of documentary techniques and fiction, the film, with glacial pans and contemplative long takes, captures the undefinable beauty that arises and disappears within the in-between spaces of life—but ultimately leave an imprint upon those witness to them. 

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook. You can also follow the Straight's LGBT coverage on Twitter at @StraightLGBT or on Facebook.