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First Love, Last Rites

The flashing, blurry image of a swimming eel. A Louisiana bayou, electric green. A couple coiled in sexual passion. The young man (Saving Private Ryan‘s Giovanni Ribisi) fishing with the father of the young woman (Two Girls and a Guy‘s Natasha Gregson Wagner). The sound of some creature scrabbling in the walls of a shack on stilts. Is it a mouse? A rat? My patience? More happy sex. (My attention returns.) Then some more. In his feature debut, music-video director Jesse Peretz strings together short, mysterious scenes to evoke the elliptical world of an early Ian McEwan short story about obsessive first love and its inevitable decline. But the lovers are so fey, and the girl does that indie-movie thing where she never answers the boy directly, just says strange things and does strange things like boil her phonograph records. A rat bursts through the wall. All patience is lost. C

First Love, Last Rites
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