After Image

Institute History

  • 2001 Sundance Film Festival


That Robert Manganelli's artful After Image employs a vivid and imaginative visual style certainly speaks volumes about his past life as a photographer/artist, as well as underscoring the narrative subtext of a multilayered story about love, the paranormal, deafness, and death. But perhaps most substantively, the singular style also seems particularly well suited to a film whose protagonists, Joe, a crime-scene photographer, and Lora, a mysterious deaf woman beset with violent premonitions, are enmeshed in controlling and evocative imagery.

On one level, After Image is a simple thriller. Someone's murdering young girls, and the killer, who documents his crimes in a video diary (seemingly offering a trail to his eventual apprehension), has become obsessed with the fact that Joe has observed him from afar. The story deepens when Joe, shaken by the images of death that have been his life, seeks a respite from his work. He meets Lora and they connect, partly because he is somewhat adept with American Sign Language. As their bond grows, they recognize that they both suffer from the same malady. Lora is experiencing haunting forebodings of murder; Joe sees flashbacks from horrific crimes. As the ominous shadow of a determined killer draws closer, Joe and Lora must reckon with their inner demons and the threat of a violent end.

Manganelli is a filmmaker who understands the craft and whose careful structuring of plot, performances, and an audience's perceptions traces a lasting imprint upon our memories. By interweaving the lives of three very distinctive characters, After Image effects a uniquely wrought intersection of technology, pathology, and the unconscious.

— Geoffrey Gilmore

Screening Details

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