The Icarus Films August 7, 2018 release of the 2016 Wang Bing documentary "Bitter Money" takes the subgenre of films about the conditions in the Chinese sweat shops that produce clothing to a fascinating new level. The intimate portraits of the shamefully exploited workers in the 18,000 clothing factories in Huzhou, China makes every viewer with a heart feel very guilty about finding values at the Gap.
"Money" goes beyond (reviewed) fellow Bing documentary "Three Sisters" in that the experience is much broader than the lives of natives of rural China. The former tells the stories of the human subjects in the larger context of the global garment industry.
Viewers who are familiar with the work of Bing and/or the theme of "Money" literally and figuratively know where things are going in opening scenes of two teen girls in rural China discussing government records that do not reflect their accurate ages.
Akin (pun intended) to the absent father in "Sisters," the girls in "Money" soon board an incredibly overecrowded train to begin factory jobs, Their discussions with their future co-workers provide subjects and audience members insight into the lives of the folks who likely make at least one article of clothing that you are wearing.
On arriving in Huzhou, the girls move into a shabby firetrap that serves as dormitory for the factory workers. If one of these dumps has not already made international news for rapidly burning down and killing 100s of people trapped inside, it is only a matter of time before such a tragedy occurs.
Watching a shirtless chubby man still badly suffering from the heat is one of many images that illustrate the poor environment,. Seeing a married woman who merely is trying to operate her sewing machine having to deal with a creep persistently hitting on her adds another dimension to the film.
Learning that the workers are paid per completed item, rather than hourly, is not surprising. The clearly unreasonable production quotas are a little more shocking. Seeing employees called into work at the last minute in the middle of the night is even worse.
The most compelling subject is young factory worker Ling Ling. This woman who does so much for such little compensation also must deal with an abusive spouse. The most powerful scene in "Money" has Ling Ling in the small store of her husband demanding money and having him repeatedly threaten her with a beating as his entourage and the camera crew look on. This man goes so far as to directly plead his case to the camera following this confrontation.
The more relatable aspect of "Money" is the impact of the work on the subjects. Many of them seem resigned to a life of barely getting by, others have unrealistic dreams of upward mobility, and some are fully delusional regarding living large.
Necessary constructive criticism must be viewed in the context of the documentary genre. Staying completely true to the form requires not editing the footage. However the 2:43 run time alone suggests that Bing documents too much. An example is that it does not seem that excluding a roughly five-minute scene of a card game on the floor of a train would have lessened the impact of the film.
The 16-page booklet, which includes a well-written essay by film critic Aaron Cutler, that Icarus includes provides interesting background information on both Bing and the film.
As Part One of this two-part post on an interview with former child star Harlen Carraher of the Unreal TV reviewed '60s fantasycom "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir" promises, this conclusion to this series follows up the coverage of Carraher's "Muir" years with a focus on his life in the years following that experience.
The awesomeness that is Carraher fully comes across in his sincerely ensuring that anything that he shares that can be interpreted as being critical was not intended as such.
The aforementioned discussion of the "Muir" years includes Carraher explaining that his father being an advertising executive facilitated the acting career of the younger Carraher man. A related aspect of this is that the older Carraher being an alcoholic prevented him from working, thus making Harlen the sole supporter of the family.
Carraher stated very clearly regarding this that "my father was a loving, caring, wonderful father who just drank a little too much." Carraher further emphasized that his father never became violent or abusive in any manner.
The wonderful father-son memories that Carraher shared included the two of them riding a promotional old-style Global Van Lines truck that his father had designed to be displayed at Disney Land right out of that park.
Carraher acknowledged that the financial dependence of his family on him was "a big burden" that became more stressful when "I was no longer in demand." Carraher elaborated by stating that his voice changing when he was 13 or 14 and his beginning to lose self-confidence during that period effectively ended his acting career. This ever-cheerful man further clarified that "the whole acting experience was wonderful" until he reached that point.
Advice to Child Stars
Carraher candidly stated that the only money that he personally received from his work on "Muir" was the money, which he believed was 15 percent of his earnings as a child actor, that the child actor protection act known as Coogan's Law required placing in trust for him. He added that that money financed the education that he received in the engineering program at the University of Southern California.
Citing the drug-related death of '60s sitcom "Family Affairs" former child star Anissa Jones, Carraher strongly advocated that Coogan's Law prohibited distributing any money held under it until the actor reached the age of 21. He explained that most people are too immature to properly manage those funds at 18.
Related advice was that the family of these children save the money that these offspring earned.
On an associated note, Carraher responded negatively when asked if any current child star mentored him when he was cast in "Muir." However, he stated that such a support program was a good idea.
Carraher further praised the work of the non-profit organization A Minor Consideration. The website of that organization stated that its purpose included providing "young performers" "guidance and support." Fellow '60s sitcom star Paul Petersen of "The Donna Reed Show" helms this charity.
[A subsequent Unreal TV interview with Petersen did not go so well. He already was stressed and takes his work VERY seriously.]
A discussion regarding Carraher's children began with the surprising news that his acting career and "Muir" itself did not interest his 14 year-old son Rory, who is heavily into the Call of Duty video game, and the younger sisters of Rory. Carraher and I agreed that having a father who starred in a sitcom would have excited us.
Things took a more serious note in Carraher discussing Rory being diagnosed with a high-functioning level of Asperger's Syndrome. This proud and loving father further shared that Rory attends a traditional school.
This conversation regarding autism encompassed the book titled "Louder Than Words: A Mother's Journey in Healing Autism" that actress Jenny McCarthy wrote about her experiences as the mother of an autistic child.
Carraher stated both "I love her book," and "I really related to it." He added that he came very close to having an opportunity to have McCarthy autograph a copy for him.
Carraher went on to very calmly express that he considered the claims of McCarthy regarding a link between autism and a child receiving immunization shots "outrageous." Carraher further explained that he loved and respected McCarthy but that (like him) she was an actor rather than a scientist." He added that "I don't think that actors should talk about things that they do not know about."
Directing some of the love that Carrraher lavished on the people whose names came up in our conversation his way is the only apt ending for this abbreviated recap of his life. He did not let an experience that very few seven year-olds have go to his head, showed exceptional maturity when his career ended far sooner than it should have (he would have made an awesome Butch on "Nanny and the Professor"), built a terrific professional career, and became an awesome parent.
The best thing about the Gravitas Ventures road-trip comedy "Baja," which is a new On Demand and Digital HD film, is that it greatly exceeds limited expectations. What is anticipated to be a film-school quality movie with flat acting turns out to be an oft-amusing interesting story by writer-director Tony Vidal.
The "Saved By the Bell"/"Ferris Bueller's Day Off" vibe begins 22 year-old sporting-goods store management trainee Bryan being a relatively chill Screech. He lives in his childhood home and is a day away from beginning his mission of driving the $500,000 RV of his parents from San Diego to the titular resort destination.
As often is the case in "Bell," the Zack Morris of "Baja" instigates the primary action. Trust fund baby/party animal Todd roars into the store on his motor bike and begins his campaign of getting Bryan to stand up to those on whom he depends for his income and his housing.
The boys soon run into Todd friend Jessica, who is a Jessie type neurotic film student, and her "Kelly" friend Lisa. Pretty dark-haired Lisa spends her days tending to her abusive needy mother.
Todd uses his metapowers of persuasion to convince Bryan to take a detour and to take him and the girls along for the ride. Todd needs to make a run for the border to seal an important deal, Lisa wants to reunite with her long-lost father, and Jessica is coming to shoot an important project for school.
Discovering contraband in the storage space and a stowaway in his bed commences the amping up of the anxiety of Bryan and triggers much of the hilarity that ensues in the film.
The gang ultimately finds itself trying to pull off a comically absurd scheme effectively to get Bryan to the church on time and to ensure that Todd goes home with all of his appendages intact. Of course, these meddling kids almost get away with it but things still work out in the end and everyone both learns an important lesson and ends up with the love of his or her life.
Too especially cool aspects are how Vidal gives Todd a look at "Christmas Future" and temporarily turns this standard U.S. comedy into a telenovela.
It is equally cool that Vidal reminds us of the awesomeness of '80s teencoms. It is nice that some people still make 'em like that.
One of the best things about speaking with former child star Harlen Carraher over the telephone was finding a guy with whom I would enjoy sharing a wonderfully disgustingly sweet "secret menu" cotton candy frappuccino. For the benefit of folks who are not true classic TV fans, Carraher played elementary school aged Jonathan Muir on the '60s fantasycom "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir." (Unreal TV has previously reviewed the DVD releases of "Muir.")
The tremendous charm of Carraher the adult relates to his kind nature, age-appropriate enthusiasm and awesome parental nature. Respective examples of this include persistently playing telephone tag despite not receiving ANY benefit from this interview, exclaiming "that's my favorite movie" on my speculating that he likes "Chinatown," and conveying his tremendous love for his fourteen-year old autistic son Rory and Rory's 12 and 10 year-old sisters.
Carraher sharing so much during our 90-minute chat requires breaking coverage of that visit into two parts. The current focus is on Carraher's "Muir" related experiences. The second part will shift to his thoughts on being a child star and other equally interesting aspects of his adult life.
Hopefully achieved objectives of this conversation included not asking the same questions that Cararhcr had been asked 1,000s of time and to provide some depth.
Carraher stressed that pursuing an acting career was his choice. He added that his father was an advertising executive with contacts that facilitated that activity. This career in that context began when Carraher was 18 months old. He also shared that he was the first voice of Sprout in the Green Giant television commercials.
Carraher described the casting process for "Muir" as a cattle call; he shared as well that he did not recall that anyone whom he beat out for the part went on to do anything big.
Carraher attributed looking like "Muir" star Hope Lange, who played the titular widow, and being able to remember his lines as primary reasons for his getting the role.
Even before discussing the background summarized above, Carraher asked that I tell co-star Kellie Flanagan, who played Carraher's slightly older sister Candy Muir on the series, that he hoped that she was well and that he was sorry that "I was a little brat" if I spoke with her, On being asked to elaborate regarding the second comment, Carraher explained that Flanagan was "like my big sister, and I was a typical little boy at the time."
[EDITOR'S NOTE: The interest of Carraher in connecting with Flanagan and Flanagan expressing the same interest in an interview in another forum prompted tracking down the latter and providing her the contact information for the former. She is just as nice as her fictional brother, and hopes run high for an interview with her in this space.]
Carraher expressed similar regard for a pre "The Partridge Family" Danny Bonaduce in reference to Bonaduce guest starring on "Muir." Carraher nicely but strongly asserted that Bonaduce got the role based on his talent, rather than on Bomnaduce's father Joseph writing the episode in which Danny appeared.
Charles Nelson Reilly
The combination of the persona of "Muir" star Charles Nelson Reilly being so flamboyant and the even late '60s not being the most enlightened of times prompted asking if that characterization of highly anxious Claymore Gregg prompted any negative public feedback. Carraher responded "absolutely not."
Carraher then described Reilly as "very professional and very kind," that "I really enjoyed working with him," and that "he was perfect for the role."
Carraher added that Reilly was a horrible driver and ran down a boom man while filming one scene; this stage hand lived but broke his leg.
The brief discussion related to sexuality in the context of this topic included Carraher volunteering "I'm very straight myself" but expressing an awesome acceptance for gay folks. He is sincere in stating that some of his best friends are gay.
The conversation turned to Scruffy, the wire fox terrier who played the Muir family pet of the same name in the context of Flanagan commenting in an interview that Scruffy was paid more than Flanagan. Carraher responded that he did not recall that but stated that that would not surprise him. He explained that the animal trainer on the series was one of the best in that profession.
The bonus tidbit that Carraher shared regarding Scruffy was that the original intent was to name him Rusty in reference to the rust that formed on the hull of a sailing ship.
A question regarding whether any of props in the series were from the 1947 "Muir" film prompted the enthusiastic response "I don't know; I would be thrilled to know that it was."
Carraher elaborated by stating "I am a huge Natalie Wood fan." This was in the context of Wood starring in the 1947 film.
Carraher stated that Wood never visited the set of the "Muir" series and that he had never met her. He added that his brother appeared in the uber-awesome Wood film "Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice" but that Harlen never visited that set.
The portion of our conversation regarding "Muir" guest star Bill Bixby revealed that Carraher and I were on the same wavelength. A confession that "Muir" remained one of my Top 10 favorite shows but that I liked Bixby's '60s fantasycom "My Favorite Martian" a little better prompted Carraher (most likely with a wide grin on his face) to state "me too."
Carraher stated that he did not recall Bixby discussing any techniques regarding the special effects on "Martian" but that Bixby was one of the nicest guest stars who appeared on "Muir." One aspect of this regard was Bixby being very gracious when seven or eight year-old budding photographer Carraher asked to take candid photos of him.
This lead to discussing personal aspects of the life (and genuinely tragic death) of Bixby that included his being a terrific father in real life. This in turn related to both a general discussion of Bixby's sitcom "The Courtship of Eddie's Father" and comments in Unreal TV reviews of that series that Bixby seemed to be the kind of dad that many children of the '60s and '70s wished that they had. Carraher agreed and added that he loved "Father."
Carraher followed up by stating that future "Coach" star Shelley Fabares was equally gracious about Carraher taking her photo when she guest starred.
Carraher provided the best way to wrap up this portion of the recap of our talk early in that conversation. A mention of highly prolific singer-songwriter Harry Nilsson appearing on the show prompted Carraher to joyfully sing "you put the lime in the coconut and then shake it all up." This awesomely conveyed that Carraher thoroughly enjoyed acting on the show and retained the spark of childhood that all of us require,
The TLA Releasing DVD release of "French Kisses" provides a good chance to see a variety of styles and themes related to gay boys (and men) in love. These shorts also support the theory that the best movies are the ones with the strongest live-stage vibe.
The films about teen boys have their merits that extend beyond seeing seeing attractive young guys either often in deep thought or extreme joy. They reflect the angst that most boys who like boys experience when they discover that aspect of themselves. Mainstream cinema increasingly addressing this theme reflects its importance in society.
The films that focus on males who are adequately physically developed to shave at least every other day shows the wisdom of not sending in a boy to do the job of a man. In the case of the selection in "Kisses," the movies with the more mature themes in every sense have the most depth and the most compelling stories.
"Herculaneum," which is a highly symbolic title, arguably is the most relatable film in the set. It revolves around two 30-something guys who repeatedly hook-up through a web-based cruising site. The largest theme is the disparity that often exist regarding the attitude as to a sex act, especially when it comes (no pun intended) to gay men. No one should expect that a casual encounter will lead to a long-term relationship, but what is merely a bit of fun to one guy may have even a little more significance to the other.
The real truths come out in the climatic (pun intended) scene in "Herculaneum." Our boys finally are enjoying the intimacy of sharing a bed for the night after having at least two home runs. The pillow talk includes learning basic information such as the professions of the men that typically is shared before the genitals of one person are inserted in the orifice of another. A related aspect of this is the reasonableness of the expectation that a man whom another man allows him to penetrate him in the most intimate manner possible will have lunch with the pentratee.
The next most relatable movie is "Ruptures," This one initially seems to be a documentary by and about 20-something Gabriel largely is about relationships in the context of the relationships of his peers.
A "chance" encounter with ex Andre while these guys were boys in Brazil dramatically shifts the narrative in every sense of that term. Gabriel literally turns the camera on Andre to ask about his feelings regarding their relationship; the gist is that Gabriel hurts this nice guy, real bad.
Gabriel falsely stating that the camera is off allows the audience to witness the sex, lies, and videotape associated with the reunion of the young lovers. we further witness Andre turning the tables on Gabriel.
Most of us lacking personal experience regarding the final film in the set is a good thing. An evening in which a middle-aged man host a younger man for dinner proves that visits like that are fun until someone ends up duct-taped on the floor while the other guy tries to break into your safe. The surprising part is that this is in not the end of this tale of a rent boy turned rough trade.
A teen experience of a friend of a friend (REALLY) shows that such occurrences relate to some. The price that this closeted high school boy pays for bringing a hookup home while his parents are out for the evening includes the trick (pun intended) of being left tied naked face down on the bed in the master bedroom and the house being robbed. A valid perspective regarding this is that something that is devastating if it happens to you can be hilarious when someone else is the victim.
The Breaking Glass Pictures July 17, 2018 DVD release of the 2017 character study "Moss" is a perfect example of the indie films that Breaking helps bring to the massses. This shot-on-location film about how the titular North Carolina redneck (Calvin Klein model Mitchell Slaggert) spends his 18th birthday provides fascinating insight into the lives of such folks who exist day-by-day.
The following YouTube clip of a "Moss" trailer highlights the Southern Gothic vibe of this rapidly coming-of-age story. This includes a taste of the inner monologues that comprise a great deal of the film and of the aforementioned location shooting.
The aforementioned narrative technique quickly provides the exposition that the mother of Moss dies giving birth to him and that his father claims to be philosophical regarding that loss. We further get a variation of shooting fish in a barrel.
The special day next involves Dad not diverting much attention from making the driftwood sculptures that keep Spam on the table to acknowledge either the special day of Moss or his offer of breakfast. Dad ordering a resistant Little Red Riding Hoodie to deliver a basket of prescription drugs to his grandmother causes further tension.
Moss first taking a detour to visit his meth-head buddy Blaze to get high and eat a Redneck Special for breakfast while watching VHS tapes of nature films fully gets his big adventure underway. We also learn of the extent to which some people will sell (and buy) anything at a yard sale.
Moss gets his first real present in the form of spying 30 year-old camper Mary on the banks of the river. Although he uses one of the worst-ever pick-up lines, Mary lets him inside her tent. This leads to a From Here to Mayberry moment in which these new lovers embrace on the sand as waves roll over them.
The time with Mary takes up much of the day, which ends up Moas back at Che Blaze, who has family drama of his own in the interim. The gist of the childhood of both boys provides understanding regarding why they are not college-bound.
Meanwhile, Dad is showing that he does care about his son even after learning how Moss perverts a special gesture. One message here is that not much is expected from anyone literally from that neck of the woods.
The rude awakenings the next day include Moss finding himself on a floor other than his own and discovering the degree to which he does not deserve his grandmother. The response of Dad to all this is equally surprising to those of us in more urban areas.
The message of "Moss" goes beyond seeing how the lower-income half lives. We see how any kid can fall through the cracks and the extent to which that requires them to be self-reliant and pursue any form of happiness and/or escape.
Breaking does its usual excellent job with DVD features. Writer-director Daniel Peddle hosts an amusing 25-minute "making of" documentary that shows the kismet regarding the production and how it largely is kept in the family.
[EDITOR'S NOTE: This review is of Australian DVD releases of "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir," which has not been released on DVD in the United States. These releases require using an international DVD player; they will not play on a standard Region One U.S. player.]
These thoughts on the April 2104 Australian DVD releases of the first and secondseasons of the 1968-1970 U.S. fantasycom "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir" are breaking news in the sense that a "fourth scene twist" a few nights ago prompted writing on this topic in favor of a (subsequently published) less positive three-part series titled "Back to Dystopia Days: How the Cunninghams of the '50s Would Fare in 2015."
The aforementioned development was the bedside Scooby-Doo telephone of your (sometimes humble) reviewer ringing at 11:30 p.m. Eastern Time. On coming down to my home office the next morning with thoughts of dystopia in my noggin, I was thrilled to see that the call was from "Muir" child star Harlen Carraher. Carraher is the former tow-headed moppet who played the young son of the titular widow.
Carraher, whose last listed acting job aptly was a guest shot on "The Brady Bunch," kindly provided his private number weeks ago on learning of the great love of "Unreal TV" for "Muir." The call last night was the latest round in a game of telephone tag that a three-hour time difference and other factors have caused to last for months. An interview with Carraher will run after we connect.
As an aside, the incredibly gregarious Carraher asks that fans please not contact him at his current literal day job. Unreal TV is glad to pass along messages and ask questions that reach here before Carraher does.
Returning to our main topic, "Muir" is an all-time after-school reruns favorite that is a frequent subject of posts regarding series that are overdue for U.S. DVD releases. This love is behind spending roughly $70 total for the aforementioned Australian releases of both seasons. This follows spending an embarrassingly large amount on the Australian release of the third season of fellow '60s fantasycom "My Favorite Martian" years ago following interminable delays in then-Warner division Rhino releasing that season.
The premise of "Muir," which is based on the 1947 film of the same name, is that Carolyn Muir (wonderfully played by Hope Lange) moves Jonathan and his slightly older sister Candy to Gull Cottage in the small coastal Maine community of Schooner Bay. The Muir clan soon learns on moving into that rented abode that original owner Captain Daniel Gregg (well portrayed by "Knight Rider" star/character actor Edward Mulhare) haunts the house and does not welcome "Others" living there. One spoiler is that this stalwart sea captain is not allergic to sunlight.
The following clip, courtesy of "YouTube" and a fellow "Muir" fan, of several moments from the series shows the wonderful slapstick element of this terrific program.
The pilot achieves an excellent balance between exposition and getting down to business in that it opens with a moderately spooky scene in which current owner (and Gregg heir) Claymore Gregg (perfectly played by over-the-top campy actor Charles Nelson Reilly) arrives at the haunted mansion to inform his ancestor of the imminent arrival of the Muir family. One dystopian note is that this scene explains the need to rent the house to prevent a tax foreclosure. This scene ends with a series staple of the titular spirit rousting the Mr. Chicken of the show out of the house. However, this night-time scene contrasts with the later consistently daytime expulsions of Claymore.
Another dystopian element of the pilot has freelance writer Carolyn telling her unexpected housemate that she cannot afford to move. That hardship and a growing admiration/love for this widow leads to a workable detente following a hilarious scene in which the Captain and the widow wrestle for control of the family station wagon.
The on-screen chemistry between Lange and Mulhare is not perfect, but each plays his or her part well. It is also nice to see that they are largely equals and that the Captain must accept the nature of a modern liberated woman while Mrs. Muir must understand (and respect) the nineteenth century sense and sensibility of the Captain.
A particularly hilarious scene in an episode has Carolyn asserting her independence prompting the Captain undoing his good deed after magically fixing a flat tire. This outing also has Carolyn establishing the rule that she will take care of people and the Captain can take care of the ghosts only for the former to (predictably) soon learn that having a supernatural man around the house is helpful.
A somewhat related (and even more amusing) episode has Carolyn trying to cure herself of the "delusion" that she is sharing her home with an increasingly friendly ghost. Watching this frustrate said spirit is must-see TV.
A more ripped from the headlines episode has the medicine that the Captain prepares for an ailing Mrs. Muir transport her back to the Gull Cottage of the nineteenth century. This led to (unrealized tongue-in-cheek) hope (no pun intended) that lightning would strike twice when consuming massive amounts of maximum-strength NyQuil during a recent personal bout with severe pneumonia. Alas, a very relaxing near comatose state was the only result.
Other memorable segments from the roughly 50 "Muir" episodes include adorable family terrier Scruffy announcing the presence of an invisible Captain only to have the latter exact incredibly cute revenge, a temporarily powerless Captain struggling to telepathically move a teapot, and uber-successful dreamy singer/songwriter Harry Nilsson play a dreamy young performer who seeks refuge at Gull Cottage after the Captain attempts to drive him off the nearby beach.
Other notable guest stars include Bill Bixby of "Martian" as a determined paranormal investigator, "Oliver" star Mark Lester as a love interest for Candy, Richard Dreyfuss as a newspaper editor, and comic legend Dom Deluisle as a bumbling ghost who gets haunting lessons from the captain.
On a larger level, this incredibly fun and entertaining series has a few elements that continue to delight. Your (sometimes humble) reviewer derived a laugh from his significant other when recreating the overhead wave that a beach-walking Lange uses to gesture to Mulhare in the opening credits during a scene in current theatrical film "Still Alice" in which Julianne Moore walks on the beach. We also crack up whenever there is a reference to matronly live-in housekeeper Martha (played by Reta Shaw) using her "sweet cherry pie" to coerce the dessert-loving local handyman to do her bidding. Martha withholding that treat prompts particular hilarity.
On an even broader level, "Muir" and its ilk (such as "Martian") are simply awesome "unreal" shows that provide great entertainment without dumbing it down or relying on sexual innuendo. Other than Claymore and a few small-town stereo types, no one really plays the fool.
Further, the respect and love that our lead characters feel toward each other clearly drives the show. Seeing the Captain wanting to get into the heart (rather than the pants) of the object of his affection flames the desire for a return to nineteenth century values (absent the rampant racism and sexism and anti-homosexuality hysteria).
As a second alas, the DVD sets do not include any extras. The picture and sound quality are very good, and the episodes seem to be the broadcast versions
The awesomeness of the Film Movement July 24, 2018 DVD release of the 2009 French drama "You Will Be Mine" extends beyond this tale of a med. student being obsessed with her single white female roommate leaving expectations deeply in the dust. "Mine" further is notable regarding Movement pairing it with the (reviewed) French sex comedy "Three-Way Wedding"
"Mine" additionally passes the same acid test as virtually every Movement film. It could have been made word-for-word and shot-for-shot in America and still made perfect sense and had the same impact..
The following YouTube clip of a "Mine" trailer provides a sense of the cinematography and the performances that make the movie much more than a Lifetime-style film about one post-adolescent woman becoming manic over the girl who shares the expenses.
This almost literal year-in-the-life opens with a gleefully Marie Dandin and her entire family piling into the family station wagon to drive this piano prodigy to the gorgeous apartment that she is going to share with childhood friend Emma while Marie studies at the prestigious Lyons National Conservatory. The rest of the story is that M. et Mme. Dandin virtually idolize Emma for reasons that include her now-absent mother being an artist whom Mme. Dandin particularly admires.
Writer-director Sophie Leloy channels the best of the '80s obsessed psycho films in having the drama start subtly before the excitable boy (or girl) of the film goes completely cra cra. In this case, Emma begins her reign of terror by seemingly innocently suggesting to Marie that they restrict their socializing to the apartment and never have visitors.
The next portent comes when Marie convinces Emma to go to a restaurant; Emma subsequently is very uncool when cute Jewish boy Sami (who later shows one way in which he is one of the chosen people) and other classmatess of Marie run into the roommates and invite them to join them at a bar. Marie not properly interpreting the reaction of Emma ultimately makes a bad situation worse.
Emma soon making a very aggressive mood on a not entirely unreceptive Marie amounts to a rookie mistake that shows that the latter is unfamiliar with films such as "Fatal Attraction" and ""Single White Female." An increasingly aggressive Emma, mixed emotions regarding Sami, intense pressure at school, and having the limited financial resources of her parents limiting her options make Marie a woman on the edge of a nervous breakdown by the time of her Christmas break, Her clueless parents inviting Emma, who charms the family, to come along does not help matters.
Spring semester drama includes Emma promising to behave and going so far as to invite Sami to move in with Marie providing a very short respite, A particularly creepy breakfast table conversation among the three roommates is a highlight. However, one of the best moments come via Marie trapping Emma in a major lie.
Leloy wraps all this up in a believable manner in which feelings get hurt much more than bodies.
The bigger picture this time is that Leloy touches on many overlapping themes that are relatable to large portions of the populations of many countries. The first is the extent to which people who lack close ties with blood relatives seek bonds with friends; the second is the gray area between a close platonic relationship and a sexual desire (particularly one involving a same-sex pair). Even more dangerous territory exists regarding someone who is closer to the homosexual end of the Kinsey Scale engaging in physically intimate activity with someone who is close to the heterosexual end. What is a combination of curiosity, horniness, and fun and games to one can mean more than that to the other person.