Kyle McNally's ‘Mourning After’: Picture-in-Picture Finally Goes Legit

Kyle McNally’s Mourning After reminds us of the painfully earnest relationship dramas we wanted to make when we were in college, except that his is much, much better than ours would have been. Elegantly conceived, filmed, and acted, McNally’s lyrical and meditative film is equal parts melodrama and art installation, utilizing a frame divided into quadrants, each telling one part of a multifaceted story. But before you start chanting, “Mike Figgis got there first!” we should note that McNally’s portrait of a doomed relationship in miniature is far more touching and efficient than anything Figgis ever put onscreen. It’s all the more impressive, then, that McNally made this while a student at Yale University, for a fiction-film workshop. Also, no need to adjust the volume knob on your computer — we’re pretty sure it’s meant to sound that sparse. —Bilge Ebiri