|A scene from First Winter.|
By Don Simpson
At some point in the past, Paul (Paul Manza) convinced some of his cutest female yoga students to travel with him to his secluded farmhouse. It is an extremely cold winter and the power has gone out, thus transporting the utopian household back to a time before heat and electricity. Their cultish lifestyle becomes an adventure for the presumably privileged class, a time to play “hippie commune circa 1969.”
The Brooklyn hipsters continue with business as usual — participating in a daily regimen of yoga and meditation, filling in the remaining hours of the days with sex and drugs. But the promiscuously enlightened air cannot withstand the stresses of time, frigid weather, and tyrannical rationing of food. The restrictive seclusion of the location does not help matters either. Except for a lone radio, there is no connection with the outside world. Their days are numbered but Paul has lulled his flock of housemates into a sheepish state of submission.
What is writer-director Ben Dickinson telling us? Is he metaphorically predicting the demise of Brooklyn hipsters? Has this tight knit, holier-than-thou subculture cut themselves off from reality to the point of no return? Will their carefree lifestyle of yoga, meditation, slow food, and free love bring about their death?