Heaven Knows What
DIRECTOR: JOSH AND BENNY SAFDIE
CAST: ARIELLE HOLMES, CALEB LANDRY JONES
A chance encounter with Arielle Holmes, a homeless teenage heroin addict, led to the creation of this bracing verité slice-of-life, based on Holmes’s self-penned unpublished memoir recalling a mutually destructive relationship, and starring Holmes herself opposite Caleb Landry Jones, who plays her partner/obsession/nemesis with frightful youthful malevolence. The Safdies evoke the spirit of an earlier era of run-and-gun independent New York filmmaking, but their urgent, often abrasive film is distinctly contemporary, immersed in the lives of the social outcasts who manage to just barely eke out an existence in a sanitized, uncaring post-Bloomberg city.