The World Is Full of Secrets, 2018 – ★

Excruciating. As if the filmmaker just brought a camera to the dullest sleepover ever and had the girls tell thoroughly underwhelming stories. To make matters worse, it’s shockingly overproduced, with a pretentious 4×3 aspect ratio, wraparound narrations, and loooooong slooooooow dissolves. The performances range from mediocre to awful, and just because they CAN deliver a 20 minute story in one take doesn’t mean they should, and reading an entire newspaper article over q static shot of the paper is…awful. Like amazing continuous tracking shots in Touch of Evil, The Player, and more recently 1917, there’s the moment when you realize you’ve been watching a long continuous shot, and then grow more and more impressed as it goes longer and longer. Only here, once you realize that it’s been a continuous shot of one girl’s face, framed like a 90s Nickelodeon TV show, you don’t grow more impressed as the story goes on, instead you first are shocked by the audacity of the filmmaker and then infuriated by his hubris. Then, after all this buildup to something horrible that happened, the narrator literally tells us she doesn’t want to relive that story and that we should look it up. Atrocious, pretentious, and utterly devoid of value.

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