Duck Season director Fernando Eimbcke continues to refine his signature style – long, static takes, rhythmic (and often transitional) cuts to black, silence pregnant with both humor and sorrow – with Lake Tahoe, another tale of a boy abandoned by adults. That narrative similarity, however, isn’t immediately apparent from Eimbcke’s set-up, which begins by following teenage Juan (Diego Cataño) as he attempts to locate a part needed to fix the car he just smashed into a light pole. This odyssey is framed in geometrically immaculate master shots of the boy set against looming environments and structures, though this visual distance doesn’t preclude emotional attachment, as the filmmaker milks his compositions for both arid humor and humanistic tenderness. During the course of his day, Juan comes into contact with a number of amusing eccentrics, from a garage owner who makes Juan quietly wait while he and his dog eat cereal at the kitchen table, to a young mother named Lucia (Daniela Valentine) who attempts to recruit Juan as a babysitter. Still, Eimbcke’s Jarmusch-ian comedy is laced with something stronger, and as Lake Tahoe lackadaisically (if purposefully) progresses, a strain of melancholy wrought from loss and longing emerges. It’s a shift that sneaks up on the viewer but one that’s nonetheless earned by the film’s empathetic attentiveness to character and, specifically, to Juan’s drifting search for a means of coping with death and the newfound responsibilities it entails. Eimbcke’s wry portraits (including a would-be mechanic kid obsessed with Bruce Lee) have a winsome soulfulness that help the action avoid condescension, and his imagery is often indelible, from a slow zoom into a bathroom where only a mother’s cigarette-wielding hand is visible from behind the tub’s curtain, to a tender, beautiful close-up of Lucia singing and bopping along to her radio’s feisty pop song.