2022 62 mins
OV - Without dialogue
“A bewitching ode to the night owl and quietly energizing artistic expression” - Rory O’Connor, THE FILM STAGE
A muddy cob of corn; a sound recorder extended out of a window by a single limb; a stalled car and the call of the night, answered by the donning of rollerblades affixed to Converse sneakers. Elsewhere, a drum kit stands still, a train roars, and a police car patrols, casting its hostile lights on empty living spaces and trophy rooms. As we peek into the late-night routines of various unseen protagonists, a definite sense of time and place creeps in, coalescing around echoes of ’80s slasher films and teen movies, primetime dramas, familiar sitcoms and distant childhood memories. Fragments of Americana, point to a restless encounter bathed in moonlight.
Atmospheric, beguiling and meditative, the experimental HAPPER’S COMET
solidifies Tyler Taormina's position as one of the most daring American filmmakers working today. Following 2019’s askew coming-of-age film HAM ON RYE
, this compact, 60-minute experiment sees the filmmaker return to his Long Island hometown—and trademark suburban setting—with an intimate production made at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. A foreboding midnight mosaic conceived with friends and family as sole cast and crew, HAPPER’S COMET
is a remarkably resourceful evocation of a specific mood: a nocturnal loneliness, a drifting uncertainty, but also a pang of hope. Whether meant to suggest the long night of the pandemic, or to offer a subtle subversion of familiar movie expectations, it achieves what we ought to hope for from cinema: it turns the mundane and the familiar into an otherworldly experience. – Ariel Esteban Cayer