Ry Russo-Young's new film entitled "You Won't Miss Me," which she co-wrote with Stella Schnabel, is an experimental narrative about 23 year-old Shelley (played by a brilliant Schnabel), a New Yorker who has just been released from a mental institution. "You Won't Miss Me" is a refreshing take on the difficulty of love, and one of the most resonant movies I've seen recently.
Fragmentation shapes Russo-Young's film, which moves in a non-chronological series of seemingly estranged moments which mirror the disorienting structure of Shelley's impressions of her experience. Shot on Flip video, HD, DV, Super 8 and Super 16, and in both colour and black and white, the aesthetic reflects the various moods and textures of a quotidien NYC, everywhere from a vibrant blue, neon evening to a tactile, granular daytime Brooklyn.
In many ways, Shelley represents that beloved NYC energy that continues to pulsate no matter what the world throws at her; she might be a bit lost but she's surely alive and kicking. She endures acting auditions for arrogant directors who generate needlessly embarassing interactions -- (featuring some humerous cameos by mumblecore directors Aaron Katz and Joe Swanberg) -- and transitions to malnourished friendships and a disconnected romantic life composed of quick encounters and disappointments.
There's a very hand-made feeling to the film, which could be dangerous but ends up working beautifully because of Russo-Young's restraint and his devotion to a non-judgemental point of view. We watch Shelley's emotions spread themselves across the city in an almost confessional way, on the back of a motorcycle where she clings to a practically anonymous male form, or speaking to her psychiatrist, who is rendered as merely a shoulder that frames the image. It implies her connection to people in time and space, which amplifies her emotional disconnection and lonliness in a surprisingly relatable way.