Narcissism and pretentiousness vie for supremacy in I Send You This Place, a pseudo-documentary in which co-director (and constant screen presence) Andrea Sisson wanders around Iceland because she believes its landscape of wintry clouds, mountains, winds, and colors will allow her to understand the head space of her schizophrenic brother, Jake. Often in conversation with co-director Pete Ohs, Sisson narrates faux-poetic ruminations about spirituality, nature, and doorways (representations of possibilities!) over scenes of her traversing snowy plains and sitting in barren rooms while decked out in headphones and oversize coats. All of it edited with look-at-me affectation, scored to droning piano and guitar, and accompanied by random interludes of white line drawings (and running human figures) on black backgrounds, the film argues that, because Sisson experienced the same things that doctors claim are proof of Jake’s diagnosis, he must not actually be mentally ill. Assessing that conclusion, however, is impossible since I Send You This Place refuses to feature Jake (who’s in a Cincinnati institution), so consumed is it with depicting Sisson from every available angle, be it jogging across ice, posing on playground equipment, or peering over ledges. Even at a lean 68 minutes, it’s a vanity project that’s the very definition of insufferable.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on June 7, 2013