Magazine article Screen International

'Gemini': SXSW Review

Magazine article Screen International

'Gemini': SXSW Review

Article excerpt

There may be Lynchian elements in this classic low-budget LA noir, but it's Lola Kirke who impresses the most

Dir. Aaron Katz. US, 2017, 93 minutes

Aaron Katz (Land Ho!, Dance Party USA) sets Gemini in cloudy alt-show-biz LA, and takes us into a bond between the self-involved star (Zoe Kravitz) and her loyal assistant (Lola Kirke), putting that subordinate in the leading role. Plenty of people feel like killing Kravitz's celebrity starlet in this low-budget LA noir, but the evidence implicates her personal factotum.

Aaron Katz's latest has its moments, thanks to Lola Kirke in that assistant role. Picked up by Sony for distribution outside the US, it may reach Kirke's fans with its twist on a shadowy murder story with a persuasive McGuffin and a persistent detective (John Cho) straight out of central casting. Zoe Kravitz will launch the film with the fashion crowd and Cho might give it a boost in East Asia, but otherwise, Gemini should fare best in North American release.

The delicate and irksome Heather (Zoe Kravitz) is cancelling photo shoots and feature films. Eventually producers and paparazzi mouth off, saying they'd like to see her dead. But it's Los Angeles, where everyone also says, "I would kill to have those shoes." Personal aide Jill (Kirke) loans Heather a gun, which goes offaccidentally in Heather's house, leaving plenty of collateral damage. The next day, when a body that looks like Heather turns up, Jill is a suspect because her fingerprints are on the gun found near the corpse.

Katz's murder mystery takes offin two directions, investigating LA denizens and exploring their habitat. One plot is the search by Cho and others for possible killers. Another is a tour through LA locations, which form a variation on noir itineraries. Each strand gets us part of the way toward a fully realised noir-clone. …

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