Stephen Cone, Unexpected Humanist

Princess CydStephen Cone has been making movies at a steady clip for over a decade and yet remains largely unknown. It is a momentous and wholly deserved occasion then for him to receive a retrospective at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York. Despite mixed receptions and even more erratic distribution patterns, his collection of films isn’t as motley as one might think. While each might tiptoe in a different direction, they maintain a hand in the Stephen Cone universe, imprinted by the same particular humanistic insight. In one of his earliest films, In Memoriam (2011), a young man so subsumed with the sudden death of a couple, fallen from a roof during the throes of pleasure, conducts his own investigation into their ill-fated demise. Innocuous curiosity masks what is essentially an existential inquiry and takes a self-referential pivot when he decides to recreate and film the events,
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