Former fashion photographer Jenny Gage’s intimate, vérité documentary “All This Panic” is a lush, simmering observational dive into three years in the lives of seven teenage girls in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. There are no judgmental frames, either literally or figuratively. Both Gage and her cinematographer-husband Tom Betterton have patience and elevated vigilance toward image and sound, how to capture moments on the fly, then assemble them in vivid tapestry: “All This Panic” is practically translucent in its fluid, fluent form.
We witness these girls, offhanded, in the moment of becoming women, in an alienated yet hyper-connected culture, stubborn against a succession of sensations in a sea of Instagrams, of societal expectations. “People want to look at us but don’t want to hear what we have to say.” Gage and Betterton look, listen; we do, too in this brief but compelling dispatch. 79m. (Ray Pride)
“All This Panic” opens Friday, March 31 at Facets.
Ray Pride is Newcity’s film critic and a contributing editor to Filmmaker magazine.
His multimedia history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” will be published later this year.