Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Family Tree

That Pouty Voice Defeated Thing

It's here:

And it's got 8,115 views at the time of this writing — is in need of at least a hundred eighty-thousand more. Because Family Tree demonstrates (and by no means am I saying here the film represents the concussive singular instance) that if you let people be themselves in front of a camera, and a good director's there to keep things alive and is of more than half a mind to cut the dross out later, you'll have magic and everything that happens outside the movies suddenly gets redeemed. I think it's probably just time to throw away the word "actor" and we had good cause to do so even at the point of Warhol or Godard/Gorin or now Costa or before that Méliès in whose pictures specifically (to reverse my obsessive reframing of Lumière in the realm of fantasy or, I don't know, non-realism, i.e. photography) we're hardly ever resident within the world of a scene, rather are watching a film that recorded someone performing. Anyway, either we chuck "actor" or we expand our idea of what an actor might be. "Its author's bizarre cognomen is his own invention...", etc.

In this getaway film that pitches its tentpole midgrounds between Super Mario Galaxy and Sense and Sensibility there are two really good shots:


GIRLS (in my generation) SIT IN FRONT OF LAPTOPS AND PLAY YOUTUBE VIDEOS OF SONGS. THIS IS WHAT THEY DO. AND THEY USUALLY DO IT WHEN THEY'RE THREE GLASSES IN W/ THE CÔTEAUX DU LYONNAIS. So if Audley ever makes plans to caption the film for an older crowd I might suggest:

Family Tree by Kentucker Audley, 2009:


The second two-thirds finds Lena and Tim, both great actors, the latter peripatetic as ever in Kentucker's pictures, extending the pretense of brother + sister. I find the repartée and evasive eyelines very touching and very genuine, though full-disclosure, I never grew up with siblings. Still, I can share this: I had an uncle that once claimed to have recreated inside a safe-deposit box the surface conditions of the planet Venus. He used to dare his children to stick their hands inside as a test of will.

Family Tree by Kentucker Audley, 2009:

There are two supporting players beside Greta Gerwig worth singling out for vivid presence, and since we don't learn much about their backgrounds in the film I'll sketch them further right here and say the one lolls about like someone's eccentric niece, and the other's the sort of girl who if she ever moved to California would probably take a pass on the Karina Longworth readings but still apply for a vanity license that matched the KBL 852 plate in Kustom Kar Kommandos. That's not easy casting.

Family Tree by Kentucker Audley, 2009:

Or is it? Family Tree boasts the bond and the joy among friends making a movie. Moral: family trees might be more spontaneously generated than any blood-uncle could venture to guess.



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