Lessa and Cass are young lovers in a small town who dream of moving to Florida in this impressionistic portrait directed by Monica Lek. “And She Hisses” is a pulsating snapshot of the beauty and recklessness of young love, a fantasy that could last forever or be gone tomorrow. Cass gets a job at a local movie theater where he’s free to watch films and change the marquee sign to whatever word he wants (“verdigris” is the recent selection). Together with Lessa, they drink cheap wine in bed, play darts in a spacious yard, and dream of their future in Florida. Lessa is fascinated with snakes — in rolling voiceover, we hear her poetic recitations describing the species, their tendencies — and we come to understand that she sees herself as one, slithering, poisonous, ready to attack. The couple spends their days alternating between euphoria and discontent, both equally vivid, carried out with buoyant editing and vibrant performances. A slippery, sensuous experience, Lek’s film discovers a wealth of moods and images while refusing traditional modes of narrative.
Director, writer, DP, producer: Monica Lek. Cast, producer: Odessa Young. Cast: Michael Patrick Nicholson. Co-writer: Brantley Jones. DP: Matt Clegg.