Saturday, January 14, 2017
Written & Directed By: Clay Liford
Cinematography By: Ellie Ann Fenton
Editor: David Fabelo & Bryan Poyser
Cast: Michael Johnston, Hannah Marks, Michael Ian Black, Missi Pyle, Sarah Ramos, Angela Kinsey, Sam Eidson
Freshman Neil's Vanguard stories are all he cares about...until he meets the older Julia, who pushes him to put his own fan fic online. When the website's moderator takes a special interest in Neil's work, it opens up a whole new universe.
Given it's title the film is not exactly what you would expect especially if expecting a horror film or slasher film. There is no real violence unless you count emotional violence. Though luckily not sadistic.
It's a one of a kind film and Not exactly what you would expect.
The film like the characters are awkward at First then as you get familiar with them. You find them more quirky.
This is one of those films you expect to only see at film festivals. As it has such a unique voice you can see it having problems finding a big audience. Though I believe the film will find an audience that deserves it and it deserves.
The film stays unpredictable to a degree in a world absent of too many adults except as rule enforcers. The film isn't necessarily conventional though is presented in that way, but can be identifiable. Even if not exactly with the characters, the emotions and some of the situations.
The film showcases the erotic fan fiction community. A community I knew very little about before. It offers up the good and the bad. If you don't do anything with your writing. How it can lead to original writing.
The description of the film seems one way, but the film is so much more. Though it seems described the way it is to bring in more of an audience.
The film doesn't decide in a sexuality for the characters to be defined by as they don't exactly know themselves. As we see scenes more of a homosexual nature and at times him being attracted to women. By the end it still isn't defined but he obviously has romanticized sexual feelings for one female.
We hear a lot about her family but never quite get the truth or trust her explanations, though she changes them so often. Both are writing erotic fan fiction, exposing their own sexual fantasies st the same time before they really have had these experiences. They write these alone and after awhile they are creating Collaborations on passion. Which translate into their own relationship. Before they are even physically intimate with each other. Which we never actually see as the filmmaker knows that this is something private and meant to be shared only by these two characters. But through their stories we know as they are so sexually charged and graphic.
The film and characters no matter how brash at times manage to maintain an innocence.
It's a low budget film that shows a Lot of heart. in fact the limited budget shows the limitations in their life and where they live. Showing the need and struggle to want to leave and live in their fantasy world more then the unfair real one at times. Their connection, friendship and relationship how it develops is touching and seems natural.
What really is at the heart of this film is the performances especially by the two leads. Hey are just so charming and Hannah marks is just so ferocious in a role that could easily be written off, but the role exposes the character to a degree. She seems to be a character who has a bravado. She is sensitive but seems to put on a show of courage and knowledge to show off and protect herself. As she has her own doubts about herself and her talent. She says exactly what comes to mind the more shocking the better as a defense. The hypocritical nature, the resistance and armor that goes along with sarcasm but also a certain fear that runs through her no matter how loud and rebellious she seems.
There is something about an ambiguous ending that is a gut punch of sorts. When it comes to this film. It gives you a sad ending, but also leaves the suggestion of hope that things will come around and change. Especially after her friend suggests she will. As she is still friends with the both of them even if they seem to have parted. Especially after the look they share is full of hope on their side. That is just so many things at once. Innocent but says so much. Especially as she doesn't trust easily but has feelings and can tell. She can't forget all that has happened in the past. What they shared as he was the only one she has been open and true with really. Who knows her, what makes it so heartbreaking to a degree is that it ends. You will never see these two characters again. You have the memories and maybe your imagination when it comes to their future. As you get so close to the characters you want to see them or know them and see how they develop. Maybe I identify with the characters is why I feel so much for this film. Maybe it's a fantasy I had always hoped for in my youth on the screen.
I almost skipped watching this film. I am glad I took a chance on it.