- Director: Lyle Kash
- Writer: Lyle Kash
- Producer: Ariel Mahler, Sinah Ober
Okay, here we go...Death and Bowling is undeniably experimental.
The problem with being experimental is - as is too often the case - the filmmaker is the only person who knows what's going on. And, indeed, if that is the case...then, the film really needs a mighty fine aesthetic to keep the audience engaged.
Death and Bowling has a mighty fine aesthetic...phew! The cinematography and composition are worthy of praise. And...the music is absolutely fantastic.
Here comes the tricky part...the narrative. Of course, being experimental, the narrative is never going to be straightforward. There is a story that - quite easily - could have been expanded [all the material and talent - needed - were standing in front and behind the camera]...lengthening the runtime from its measly 64 minutes - too long to be a short, too short to be a feature - an avoidable mistake that might put distributors off.
And, since this is a film about 'being seen' - the bitter irony is that after it completes its festival run, it probably won't be seen by very many people...which is a shame. Niche films are always vulnerable [and prone] to evanescence - streaming platforms have helped immeasurably in resolving this...but, when filmmakers do not use everything available to them...it's always going to be a battle...to be seen, to be heard...to be watched.
Again...more praise...to the trans visibility on show...however, it's just a little more tableau than the portmanteau it, possibly, aspired to be.
Lyle Kash has indisputable talent, it is a striking semi-feature debut. The aesthetic is art, the length problematic...the narrative, a little too contrived...perhaps, that was the point! And we missed!
In a meta-critique on trans representation, a transgender actor struggles with what it means to be seen after the beloved captain of his lesbian bowling league dies and a mysterious stranger shows up at the funeral.