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By Diego Arellano

originally published: 06.06.2024

Claire Facing North will screen at the 2024 New Jersey International Film Festival on Friday, June 7

Claire Facing North, shown online at 2024 New Jersey International Film Festival on Friday, June 7, opens with images of greenery, sheep, and a horribly violent volcano in Iceland. These images act as a sort of parallel to the unfinished nature of the main character Claire’s feelings. She goes to the mountains to find herself, which is odd considering the older woman’s age. Usually you have this idea of ​​a midlife crisis, but here it’s obvious that she’s having it at a much younger age. The film has this inherently instinctive nature, even without much dialogue. The image alone conveys so much while verbally saying literally nothing. Although she has interacted with other people who appear in the film, the woman’s only reactions come from facial expressions. There is no verbal retaliation, and viewers are left with an introspection that gives us the opportunity to really sit and reflect with the film in real time. The type of thinking is not logical, but more of a stream of consciousness. We as viewers are put in her shoes, experiencing the same moments and having similar thoughts.

The abundance of wide tracking shots combined with POV shots creates this sense of material distance that the character possesses. In the last years of her life, she fails to find her place in the world. The question then is whether she ever really found it, whether she is simply holding on to those last threads. Perhaps this is what leads her to take Iris – a young American tourist – with her. It is one of her last chances to stake her claim on the world and leave something behind. I believe that her subconscious really drove her to do this: the need to help this “teenager”. She may not have known it at the time, but this intrigue is what led her to make a connection and leave something behind. When we leave this earth, we are remembered and live on through others. It is not the money we make or the things we own that we live off, but what we create: art, relationships, etc. Iris’ parents’ failure to connect with their daughter is what she will remember, not the expensive trips to Paris. It is the feeling she will not remember, not the money. So she decides to sleep outside: “I don’t want her money,” she says. The old woman responds by asking, “What do you want?” Although the dialogue is patchy throughout the film, I appreciated this engagement. And the answer to that question, as Claire says, is complicated. It is often difficult to answer because deep down you can’t really say for sure what you want. As someone who hasn’t lived most of her life, I feel that many people may not come to the conclusion of what they really want in life until later. Iris feels the same way, as her decision to initially appear as a teenager comes across as an expression of not wanting anything expected of her. Her dialogues are incongruous and a bit awkward as the way she uses some of the Gen Z terms is not always appropriate. Societal expectations are often oppressive and leave people feeling despair.

Lynn Lukkas’ Claire looking north portrays this ordeal accurately through Iris. And Claire, playing the opposite, relives almost the same past experiences through her. The same kind of experience at different stages of life shows that difficulties are not limited to old age. Even when you think you’ve made it, there will always be low points. Although they disagreed in the argument, I like to think that Iris may have gained something fruitful from her relationship with Claire and taken away something important for her character development. While I can’t say that for sure about Iris, I certainly can about Claire. As mentioned before, the way you treat people sticks with them.

“Claire Facing North” will screen online all day on Friday, June 7, at the 2024 New Jersey International Film Festival. Tickets can be purchased here.

The Rutgers Film Co-op/New Jersey Media Arts Center, in collaboration with the Rutgers University Film Studies Program, presents the 2024 New Jersey International Film Festival, celebrating its 29th anniversary. The NJIFF competition will take place Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, May 31-June 9, 2024, and will be a hybrid competition with online and in-person screenings at Rutgers University. All films will be available virtually via video on demand for 24 hours on their screening day. VOD start times are at midnight Eastern Time. Any general admission ticket or festival pass purchased is valid for both the virtual and in-person screenings. In-person screenings will take place at Voorhees Hall #105/Rutgers University, 71 Hamilton Street, New Brunswick, NJ beginning at 5:00 or 7:00 p.m. on their screening day. PlusNJIFF is very proud to announce that acclaimed singer-songwriter Marissa Nadler will be in concert on Saturday, June 15th at 7pm at Voorhees Hall #105/Rutgers University, 71 Hamilton Street, New Brunswick, NJ. General Admission = $15 per program; Festival All Access Pass = $120; Personal Student Pass Only = $10 per program.; General Admission to the Marissa Nadler Concert = $25.

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More information can be found here: https://2024newjerseyinternationalfilmfestival.eventive.org/welcome



I want to live on Mars, Pripyat horse, five loaves of bread, muted – 24 hours online and in person at 7 p.m.!

Friday, 07 June 2024, 19:00
New Jersey International Film Festival
71 Hamilton Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Category: Movie

Click here for the full description


Claire Facing North, Anima No. 1-4, This is a story without a plan – only online for 24 hours!

Friday, 07 June 2024, 00:00
New Jersey International Film Festival
71 Hamilton Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Category: Movie

Click here for the full description


Short film program no. 2 – 24 hours online and in person at 5 p.m.!

Saturday, June 8, 2024, 5:00 p.m.
New Jersey International Film Festival
71 Hamilton Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Category: Movie

Click here for the full description


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