Jonathan Pacheco reviews Lucas McNelly’s #2wkfilm Blanc de Blanc:
With such a limited timeframe for production, you would think a low-budget film would go plotless out of sheer convenience. While McNelly’s previous short, gravida, centered around a simple scenario, Blanc de Blanc adds a bit of a plot, but chooses to keep the details a mystery. David (Jason Kirsch) shows up in Pittsburgh with the clothes on his back and a backpack full of random junk, and coincidentally keeps bumping into a nurse named Jude (Rachel Shaw). David cooks like a chef and can bust more than a few yoga moves, yet we never learn how he came to master such things. Guarded about his reasons for being in Pittsburgh or anything to do with his past, the traveler remains an enigma, yet Jude still chooses to take him into her home, albeit reluctantly.
All of this develops a lot more naturally than I’d expected. McNelly doesn’t force these details into conversations they don’t belong in, instead allowing them to flow out of Jude and David’s relationship. The film works best, as gravida does, when characters are allowed to sit and have real discussions; the more the characters talk, the more engaging they and the plot become. This is one of the more delightful trends I’ve noticed in McNelly’s work.