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Trailer Watch: Lance Oppenheim’s Some Kind of Heaven

Opening in theaters and on demand January 15, 2021 from Magnolia Pictures is the debut feature from documentary filmmaker Lance Oppenheim, Some Kind of Heaven. Featured in Filmmaker‘s 2019 25 New Faces, Oppenheim makes documentaries that are as attuned to their subjects’ interior lives — their fears, dreams, insecurities and aspirations — as to their physical surroundings. “How fantasy informs the way people live their lives, the camera has to do the same,” he told me when I interviewed him. “The only way to get into these people’s lives and their stories is to accurately depict the headspace they are living in.”

About Oppenheim’s dreamy and at times disquieting feature, which portrays a group of seniors at Florida’s retirement community, The Villages, Vadim Rizov wrote out of Sundance, “It’s hard not to note that Oppenheim is all of 23 years old, which is less interesting in terms of how impressive that this is his first feature (although that is impressive) than re: how the POV friction the gap between his age and those of his subjects manifests itself. A young stranger in the land of old age, Oppenheim spends little time dwelling on the most obvious aspects of physical infirmity, taking the health and well-being of his subjects as a given. The staging of each shot obviously took thought, and the attendant time required to think things through—this is collaborative work, whose semi-artifice is transparent in the results—but there’s also a tension between the speed at which the film proceeds and the pace its subjects can manage.”

The film is, as the trailer notes, executive produced by Darren Aronofsky and The New York Times, and that just-released trailer is above.

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