“So Late So Soon” is a documentary about Jackie and Don Selden, a pair of artists dwelling in Chicago. Of the 2, Jackie is unquestionably the extra energetic as she wholeheartedly throws herself into the inventive course of—within the opening scene, she makes use of string to create a large spider internet in the course of their kitchen, full with a cow on the middle, whereas Don is the extra laid-back. This may make Daniel Hymanson’s movie sound like a portrait of a few creative sorts studying to reside and work with one another with their complete lives, each private and artistic, stretched out in the entrance of them. However that isn’t the case, for Jackie and Don are aged, have been married for 5 many years, and are discovering all facets of their lives being affected by the inevitability of the aging course.
For Don, this adjustment is comparatively simple. Though a distinguished artist in his youthful years—one in every of his most well-known creations being a paper-mâché rhinoceros that’s nonetheless standing—he has now grown to be extra of a homebody whose way of life will not be significantly energetic. For Jackie, nevertheless, the transition is way harder—a sculptor and photographer who additionally taught artwork to kids for many years, she struggles mightily with the truth that whereas her inventive course of and energies are nonetheless firing on all cylinders, she does not have the vitality that she as soon as possessed. As a merciless irony, a lot of Jackie’s work over time has used the passage of time and impermanence as a theme and now she is experiencing it for herself first hand. Don doesn’t perceive why she continues to push herself, Jackie turns into annoyance by the way in which that he appears to have simply given in and in consequence, a schism begins to develop between them that solely frustrates the state of affairs even additional.
Figuring out that he has a few undeniably fascinating characters in the middle of his film, Hymanson is content material to hold again, filmmaking-wise, and easily allow them to be themselves. This provides the movie a nearly voyeuristic high quality that’s typically painful to look at, particularly within the scenes during which the frustrations of age, to not point out the assorted issues concerning the state of their cozy-but-dilapidated dwelling, encourage full-blown arguments that finish in lengthy and uncomfortable silences. Hymanson additionally weaves in previous tv interviews and movies of the 2 of their youth that permits us to see them of their prime. This distinction might sound a bit on the crashingly apparent aspect, I suppose, however by exhibiting us these materials, we get a greater sense of how they developed into the folks that we see within the current-day footage. We additionally perceive extra how their relationship, for all of the latest difficulties, has continued to endure.
“So Late So Soon” doesn’t precisely reinvent the wheel by way of documentary filmmaking, and I believe some may discover it just too miserable to sit down by means of. However for essentially the most half, “So Late So Soon” is a shifting and considerate meditation on the inevitability of ageing and mortality and the unstoppable lure of the inventive course of.