Laurel Nakadate’s The Wolf Knife is playing at PS1 on a loop, as part of their survey of the 35 year-old artist’s career. Here’s what I wrote about the film when it premiered in LA last summer: In her photographs and videos, visual artist/filmmaker Laurel Nakadate often uses her body as a loaded weapon, playing with her ability to “pass” as a younger lady in ways both relatively harmless (as a Yale MFA student, she dressed as a Girl Scout and sold cookies door to door with a hidden surveillance camera on her sash) and downright dangerous (she’s also made videotapes with strange men who try to start conversations with her, sometimes on solo road trips that she’s described as “my little version of Lolita, only Lolita’s on her own, taking herself on a trip”). Her second feature film, The Wolf Knife, explores these reverse–Little Red Riding Hood dynamics further. An ultra-low-budget road-trip flick, Wolf stars Christina Kolozsvary as Chrissy, a scrappy, pouty, ballsy would-be bombshell totally skeeved out by her mom’s new fiancé. June (Julie Potretz), Chrissy's shyer, blonder, effortlessly hot best friend, offers to tag along on a journey to track down Chrissy's real dad. Once they hit the road, we never see the girls in transit — we catch up with them once they've flopped out in sweaty motel rooms, where they munch Cheetos and feed each other secrets and lies. For its first hour, Wolf is a loose but evocative portrait of the relationship between two girls alienated from everyone but each other, still feeling out the difference between affection and attraction and discovering the relationship between cause and effect, dying for attention but a long way from being able to manipulate desire. And then the limbo snaps, and everything goes gloriously off the rails: Two desperate, unbearably tense confrontations raise the stakes, revealing Chrissy to be more sociopathic than the average mixed-up teen girl, and The Wolf Knife to be far bolder and more controlled than it initially seems.

Laurel Nakadate’s The Wolf Knife is playing at PS1 on a loop, as part of their survey of the 35 year-old artist’s career. Here’s what I wrote about the film when it premiered in LA last summer:

In her photographs and videos, visual artist/filmmaker Laurel Nakadate often uses her body as a loaded weapon, playing with her ability to “pass” as a younger lady in ways both relatively harmless (as a Yale MFA student, she dressed as a Girl Scout and sold cookies door to door with a hidden surveillance camera on her sash) and downright dangerous (she’s also made videotapes with strange men who try to start conversations with her, sometimes on solo road trips that she’s described as “my little version of Lolita, only Lolita’s on her own, taking herself on a trip”). Her second feature film, The Wolf Knife, explores these reverse–Little Red Riding Hood dynamics further. An ultra-low-budget road-trip flick, Wolf stars Christina Kolozsvary as Chrissy, a scrappy, pouty, ballsy would-be bombshell totally skeeved out by her mom’s new fiancé. June (Julie Potretz), Chrissy's shyer, blonder, effortlessly hot best friend, offers to tag along on a journey to track down Chrissy's real dad. Once they hit the road, we never see the girls in transit — we catch up with them once they've flopped out in sweaty motel rooms, where they munch Cheetos and feed each other secrets and lies. For its first hour, Wolf is a loose but evocative portrait of the relationship between two girls alienated from everyone but each other, still feeling out the difference between affection and attraction and discovering the relationship between cause and effect, dying for attention but a long way from being able to manipulate desire. And then the limbo snaps, and everything goes gloriously off the rails: Two desperate, unbearably tense confrontations raise the stakes, revealing Chrissy to be more sociopathic than the average mixed-up teen girl, and The Wolf Knife to be far bolder and more controlled than it initially seems.