Cardboard Cutout Sundown | Chicago Reader

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Rated NR · 89 minutes

Chicago filmmaker Melika Bass directed the 52-minute Shoals, which premiered at the Museum of Contemporary Art and now anchors this shorts program. Like the early films of Kelly Reichardt, it tells a minimal story amid the fever dream of a vivid natural landscape: three young ladies at a rural boarding school drift through fields and gather wildflowers to be turned into herbal remedies. The action turns ominous in the second half, though the movie is more affecting for its hushed soundtrack, low-grain photography, and still-life shots of simple, solid household objects. Completing the program are shorts by Julia Fuller, Kate McCabe, Ross Nugent, and Ann Steuernagel.

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