88:88 – There’s No Justice, Just Us
Preternaturally talented, the young Winnipeg-born artist/filmmaker Isiah Medina (b. 1991) has gained an ardent cult following from a series of short works released directly on the Internet. With his feature-length debut, Medina confirms his promise as the most adventurous and contemporary practitioner of the avant-garde of his generation, creating a stunningly photographed, radically edited work that merits comparison to late Godard… that is, if Godard was raised on hip-hop and without money.
Medina’s films are part personal diaries, shooting his friends and family, and part social critique, placing them in a world where, to quote one of 88:88’s voiceovers, “There’s no justice, just us.” A comparatively demanding and often intense work, 88:88 takes its name from the flashing numbers that appear when one can’t pay the bills, demonstrating that people who live in poverty also live in suspended time. (Pedro Costa also comes to mind.) Influenced by mathematical theory and contemporary philosophy, most visibly Alain Badiou, 88:88 is a film bursting with –ologies and ideas, in terms of both sound and image; there’s more in five minutes of Medina than most of cinema at festivals these days. Not hamstrung by an old cinephilia, his work is a constant search for new forms, new ways of expression, and often overwhelms.Mark Peranson