American Honey

American Honey ★★★★★


i've loved many films, but none has had such an immediate physical impact on me since Brokeback Mountain literally made me lose sleep thinking about doomed cowboy romance.

i didn't watch American Honey as much as i lived it - its colour-soaked imagery, frantic camerawork and pumping soundtrack pull you into its shifting restless world and leave you feeling changed. Andrea Arnold's focus on the tiniest of details, from a star sticker on Star's cheek to hair billowing in the wind, give the film an immediacy that's impossible to forget. this is an experience that lives at your fingertips and burrows under your skin afterwards, it's so tactile and gorgeous.

it's possible to view the film as a sobering indictment of American society, to single out its portrayal of people who belong nowhere. but its roving band of teenage nomads are so vibrant, so alive, weaving their own mythology out of pop culture references and top 40 songs, that they give the film an undeniable optimism. simply put, they took my breath away.

if ever a film deserved to be almost three hours long, it's American Honey. i'm not even mad that cinema employees took my phone before i could enter the screening, because of course this is a big deal!

Part of my Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival lineup.

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