The Sensation of Sight
Aaron Wiederspahns feature debut, The Sensation of Sight, blurs the line between illnessin this case borderline-autismand plain loneliness, gently suggesting that solitude can often be a malady in itself. In a progression of understated conversations and poetic shots of a muted New Hampshire winter, Sight aligns its perspective with that of Finn, a seemingly autistic high school English teacher played by David Strathairn in a Trilby. Reeling in the wake of a students suicide, Finn moves into a B&B and begins wandering the streets, pulling a Radio Flyer laden with encyclopedias and having awkward encounters with old students. Like so many of its indie siblings, Sight revels in quiet, surreally calm dialogue of the there must be a carbon-monoxide leak somewhere on this set school. This anaesthetized mood doesnt lend itself to levity, but for the most part Sight does fine without laughs; its moving, occasionally charming, and universally well-acted (Jane Adams is spot-on as an unmoored single mom). But with its pretensions to profundity (floating into gauzy B&W flashbacks, quoting Great Dead White Guys, and subdividing the film into verses), the film, like its hero, can get stuck inside its own head. Ruth McCann
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