No Light and No Land Any­where; Off the Rails; One Week and a Day; To Keep the Light

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NO LIGHT AND NO LAND ANY­WHERE drama, 75 min­utes, not rated, 3.5 chiles

Di­rec­tor Am­ber Sealey’s new fea­ture film be­gins in sad­ness and works its melan­cholic way through grief and sor­row. It fol­lows Lexi (Gemma Brockis), who is reel­ing from the re­cent death of her mother and deal­ing with a dead-end mar­riage. She heads from London to Los An­ge­les, search­ing for the fa­ther who aban­doned her when she was a child — a metaphor for the univer­sal de­sire to forge a con­nec­tion with oth­ers. From her seedy ho­tel, she em­barks on her quest, meet­ing lonely, des­per­ate char­ac­ters along the way. Brockis de­liv­ers a mov­ing, em­pa­thetic per­for­mance as a woman seek­ing some­thing real, re­treat­ing to self-de­struc­tive ten­den­cies, and com­ing to an un­der­stand­ing of her­self. Lexi’s in­ner struggle is re­flected in Sealey’s at­mo­spheric and moody look at Los An­ge­les street life. No Light and No Land Any­where is an in­tro­spec­tive film that ex­plores the ways in which we deal with loss and long­ing and the risks in­volved in es­tab­lish­ing in­ti­mate re­la­tions. — M.A. Cen­ter for Con­tem­po­rary Arts, 6:30 p.m. Thurs­day, Oct. 20; Len­sic Per­form­ing Arts Cen­ter, 6:30 p.m. Oct. 21

OFF THE RAILS doc­u­men­tary, 86 min­utes, not rated, 4 chiles

Off the Rails, di­rec­tor Adam Irv­ing’s cap­ti­vat­ing pro­file of New York City tran­sit en­thu­si­ast Dar­ius McCol­lum, in­spires a mix­ture of awe and de­light early on. McCol­lum’s story is fas­ci­nat­ing — hav­ing mem­o­rized the sub­way map by age eight, he has al­ways felt at home in the tran­sit system. At fif­teen, he made tabloid head­lines all over the city af­ter he took over an in-ser­vice E train for six stops, an­nounc­ing each one. Since then, McCol­lum, who has been di­ag­nosed with Asperger’s syn­drome, has been ar­rested over 30 times for im­per­son­at­ing a MTA em­ployee and/or hi­jack­ing a mass tran­sit ve­hi­cle.

Once the film takes full stock of McCol­lum’s life, the au­di­ence’s won­der at this ob­ses­sive ge­nius turns to dis­ap­point­ment and anger — at a le­gal system that has al­lowed him to fail over and over again with­out pro­vid­ing the men­tal health sup­port he so des­per­ately needs. Irv­ing’s film skill­fully nav­i­gates this mix of emo­tions with heart­break­ing and il­lu­mi­nat­ing in­ter­views with McCol­lum, tran­sit em­ploy­ees, fam­ily mem­bers, and men­tal health con­sul­tants. Near the end of the film, the piti­ful im­age of McCol­lum con­tend­ing with an an­kle bracelet that is meant to keep him above ground drives the point home: We need a bet­ter way to help peo­ple like him. — M.B. Jean Cocteau Cin­ema, 2 p.m. Thurs­day, Oct. 20; 1 p.m. Oct. 23

ONE WEEK AND A DAY drama, 98 min­utes, in He­brew with sub­ti­tles, not rated, 3.5 chiles

It’s the last day of the shiva for Vicky and Eyal’s teenage son Ron­nie. Eyal (Shai Avivi) is gen­er­ally pissed. When he tells Vicky (Ev­ge­nia Do­d­ina) that he wants to stay home be­cause peo­ple read obits and then break into empty homes, she replies, “Are you stupid?” Di­rec­tor As­aph Polon­sky tells his story with a nat­u­ral­is­tic pace and per­sonal por­tray­als of an Is­raeli com­mu­nity. Through all of her hus­band’s bad be­hav­iors, Vicky is mat­ter-of-fact and beau­ti­ful — with a ve­neer of weari­ness. When she asks Eyal if he re­served burial plots for them next to Ron­nie’s, he freaks out: He for­got, and one of the plots has al­ready been ex­ca­vated for some­one else. He’s head­ing for that funeral, go­ing to make trou­ble, but what he finds is trans­for­ma­tive. The fi­nal scene ties the knot on Polon­sky’s telling of a story that is re­al­is­tic in both its deep-felt emo­tions and its goofi­ness. — P.W. Cen­ter for Con­tem­po­rary Arts, 4 p.m. Thurs­day, Oct. 20; 12 p.m. Oct. 22

TO KEEP THE LIGHT drama, 88 min­utes, not rated, 4 chiles

New York film­maker Erica Fae trans­ports us to 1870s Maine for a grip­ping por­trait of a woman light­house keeper. More than 300 women tended light­houses along U.S. coasts in the 1800s, and Fae’s film, in which she por­trays Ab­bie Moore, is in­spired by true sto­ries. It opens in the mid­dle of the night, in a rag­ing storm. As the day be­gins, Ab­bie is pol­ish­ing the light while gulls fly and cry over­head. She bails out the row­boats and the cam­era scans over the ex­panse of smooth rocks that drop into the sea. On one, she finds a body, but the man is not drowned. It is Jo­han (Antti Reini), who tells her he is a ship­wreck sur­vivor. The two grad­u­ally get to know each another. Mean­while, an un­seen Mr. Moore is in bed up­stairs, ap­par­ently ail­ing and com­pletely silent.

Ab­bie learns that a lo­cal trou­ble­maker sent an of­fi­cial com­plaint about the light­house hav­ing been ac­ti­vated late on the evening of the storm. Ev­ery­thing comes to a head af­ter an an­nual visit by the gov­ern­ment light­house in­spec­tors. The sit­u­a­tion is won­der­fully mys­te­ri­ous. Fae’s Ab­bie is an en­tranc­ing blend of del­i­cacy and strength, and the cin­e­matog­ra­phy is just stun­ning. — P.W. Vi­o­let Crown, 3:30 p.m. Thurs­day, Oct. 20; 11:30 a.m. Oct. 21; 7 p.m. Oct. 22

One Week and a Day

To Keep the Light

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