Slamdance 2021 Review: A Black Rift Begins to Yawn

Written by Taylor Baker

78/100

Meditative and melodic, A Black Rift Begins to Yawn soars on the back of low light and an unspecific sense of place. Like a deep dream, you don’t know where you are or when you are. But you can rely on the sensory input to feel like a “you are”. Matthew Wade’s ambiguous sophomore film, erases it’s budgetary constraints with smart choices that feel unifying instead of restricting.

Letting a singular early moment like when Laura and Lara are sipping coffee looking at the horizon while their bodies sway does more talking for the film then most expository dialogue dumps in hundred million dollar films do. Matthew not only directs and writes the film, but he serves as his own Composer, Editor, and Producer. With a continuous use of vapor, water, and light the film seems to come together naturally. As if it were simply a consequence of the footage, not something forced.

Liquid, light, glances, words, hidden actions, these all amount to something together but explaining their significance independently is nearly impossible. What connects our main characters? Who are they to each other? Questions like these are typically the very marrow of screenplay, but here they have as much significance as how far away the coyote yowling was. Which is to say, the thoughts crossed my mind, but an answer would have born no real significant weight to the journey. A Black Rift Begins to Yawn is felt rather than comprehended. Matthew Wade is an artist to watch as he continues to mature in his craft and master his voice as storyteller.

A Black Rift Begins to Yawn Clip

Buy a ticket to see A Black Rift Begins to Yawn at the Slamdance 2021 Film Festival