The essentialism of Hannah Fidell’s first feature, “A Teacher”—remaining close on the rash behavior of one character to the exclusion of other narrative niceties—sounds like a dangerous choice, until you see the performance by Lindsay Burdge. Minimalist, meet maximalist. In a wealthy Texas suburb, Diana becomes obsessed with one of her students after starting an ill-starred, illegal affair. Burdge’s tense, taut, tactile presence is not reduced by psychology or amplified by melodrama: she wants, she needs, she seethes, she bleeds. Burdge amazes. 75m. (Ray Pride)
“A Teacher” opens Friday, September 13 at Facets.
Ray Pride is Newcity’s film critic and a contributing editor of Filmmaker magazine. He is also a photographer: his history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” in words and images is forthcoming; previews on Twitter (twitter.com/chighostsigns) as well as daily photography on Instagram: instagram.com/raypride. Twitter: twitter.com/rayPride. (Photo: Jorge Colombo.)