MFA Alumna Liza Johnson's Film mentioned in

The Artists' Artists

ARTFORUM, December 2012

To take stock of the past year, Artforum asked an international group of artists to select the single image, exhibition, or event that most memorably captured their eye in 2012.

Liza Johnson, 'Return' Artist and filmmaker Liza Johnson’s first feature-length movie is an extraordinary work of realism showing the difficulties facing a soldier returning home. The main character (played by Linda Cardellini) refuses to describe her time overseas even though family and friends demand an account. Never given the exact details of the protagonist’s combat experiences—there are no flashbacks, no reflective therapeutic revelations—we are confronted by the harsh reality of a veteran coping with trauma in the present tense. Scenes develop organically as plotlines emerge out of the relationships on the screen. The story is conveyed with psychological acuity and exceptional craft. Nothing’s predictable in 'Return'.

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Liza Johnson

Still image courtesy of Liza Johnson and ARTFORUM
Liza Johnson, Return, 2012, 16 mm, color, sound, 97 minutes.Kelli (Linda Cardellini) and Mike (Michael Shannon).