3 things about Stephen Cone’s THIS AFTERNOON

This Afternoon [2014]

1. Outside, on the back steps, the hum of an air conditioning unit.
2. An empty hallway, twice.
3. She walks over and sits down near him. “Do you mean that?” He’s not in the frame.

A leap forward. In using improvisation as a tool to fashion the screenplay, Cone has finally begun to move beyond his own preoccupations; or rather, used them as leavening to explore other themes. The predictability of the plot (such as it is) is a slight disappointment. Watching the events unfold exactly as foreseen. But plot is not really what this movie is about. It’s about the intimacy of these two characters, captured close up. What happens to them isn’t exactly the point. The 66-minute running time makes this clear: the perfect length to watch them come to life.

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