Everything Strange and New
Already bent by the demands of his home life – fatherhood, a faltering marriage, and a submerged mortgage – a tradesman struggles to balance his own appetites and expectations with those of a friend in need. Everything Strange and New is an intimate portrait of ordinary people and their longing for certainty in uncertain times. Wayne is a carpenter, no longer young but uneasy with the emotional complexities of adulthood. Aimless hours spent with Leo, his newly-divorced drinking buddy, offer some relief to the heavy gravity at home, where his kids run roughshod over his increasingly unstable wife. Living between these worlds leaves Wayne feeling like a character in someone else's story. Ultimately, a violent spasm rouses him from this fevered American dream. In his feature debut, veteran cinematographer Frazer Bradshaw infuses conventional narrative storytelling with his trademark film poetics. Stylistically, the movie owes more to European and Asian pastorals – films by Tarkovsky, Bresson, and the young Zhang Yimou – than to contemporary US cinema. With its concise pacing and wider implications, Everything Strange and New considers the proposition of living life with an economy of expression.