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The Independent Critic

Jad Abumrad, Dimitri Barnett, Evan Bolotsky
Vincent Liota
63 Mins.
Freestyle Digital Media

 Movie Review: Objects 
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How can you remember stuff without "stuff?" 

Vincent Liota's engaging feature documentary Objects explores the "stuff" of our lives, the objects we're connected to and the objects that that keep us tied to our memories, our pasts, and those events or benchmarks in our lives that elicit an emotional response. Focusing primarily on three individuals who have profound emotional connections to things they came upon rather accidentally, Objects explores how these things develop meaning and how that meaning can lead to us keeping objects, sometimes rather strange ones, for the rest of our lives. 

There's NPR correspondent and former Radiolab co-host Robert Krulwich, who's held onto a clump of grass for fifty years of his life. 

There's author Heidi Julavits, who has saved and preserved wardrobe from an obscure French actress from the 50s after the actress's life became an object of fascination and curiosity. 

Then, there's graphic designer Rick Rawlins, who has held on to multiple cherished objects including a sugar egg he received as a child that has stayed in his possession for four decades. 

These are the types of objects we're often told to let go of or to donate to charity. At times, we're told to simply throw it away. These are the types of objects that Marie Kondo would certainly challenge, though certainly Kondo herself has entered a more sentimental realm since she entered motherhood. 

Hogwash, says Objects, a playful yet also serious rejection of the minimalist lifestyle movement. Instead of judging this desire to hold on to our objects, Objects goes deeper into it and examines our human desire to hold onto things when the world around us wants us to downsize or simplify or just plain let go. Ultimately, the film concludes that there's nothing inherently negative about holding on to our stuff because, at times, we're also holding on to our memories and our place in the world. 

After an extended and successful festival run, Objects has landed with indie distributor Freestyle Digital Media for a streaming release that makes it available to the wider audience that it deserves. After its world premiere just over three years ago at DOC NYC, Objects has screened at over a dozen fests including my hometown fest Heartland International Film Festival. 

Endearing and yet also intelligently conceived, Objects is a great view for fans of indie docs and anyone who enjoys films that explore all the eccentricities and unique qualities that make us all so richly human. You can check it out, and should, at all your usual streaming outlets. 

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic