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Watch: Jason Tippet’s My Gal, Rosemarie

Jason Tippet is the co-director of the lovely Only the Young, which premiered at True/False in 2012. That portrait of California skater kids who evangelize for the Lord was distinguished by Tippet and co-director Elizabeth Mims’ impressive ability to seemingly never repeat an immaculate shot set-up in even the most returned-to locations. From the opening shot My Gal, Rosemarie shows Tippet hasn’t lost his eye for finding strong compositions in domestic spaces, opening here with a hanging hummingbird feeder viewed from directly below, a defamiliarized circle with birds floating weightlessly around it. This is the home of Ray and Rosemarie: the latter, age 90, finds the prospect of living in a nursing home with people older than her absolutely untenable. She’s in no position to dispute with her comparatively younger husband, which means his quasi-hoarding habits run a bit amuck. Tippet locates compromised bliss in a shadowy space of cat-occupied dirty couches and — even more unlikely — the sight of zoned-out Ray watching Windtalkers on AMC, an oblique memory tunnel back to his WWII experiences. Out of the glare of sunny LA, there’s real affection here that’s not overegged. Routinely excellent shot compositions set this apart, plus a trip to In-n-Out for Rosemarie’s birthday, where an argument over the burgers’ merits prompts Ray to claim Subway’s better because you can get roast beef and pulled pork there. “Yeah, but who enjoys that?” asks Rosemarie. I’m with her. (Write-up taken from last year.)

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