Saturday, March 15, 2014

Tiger Tail in Blue

The Gathr Preview series moved to Sunday night in order to avoid colliding with the Belmont World Cinema series on Mondays for the next couple of months, but signs don't seem to point to this laying the whole length of the layer series. This weekend's preview of The Raid 2 has disappeared from the calendar, and while the March 30th show still does as playing on Sunday, the weeks after that have TBD screenings on Mondays.

That I was the only person who showed for this one didn't help, or that I mentioned not being sure if I would make it to the next one, even though I wanted to be there. It was also darn cold, and the other subscribers might have found themselves a little more confused and unwilling to press on upon seeing the main theater closed and the signage on the Underground (which is kind of inadvertently hidden, being new and all) indicating the afternoon's event, even fifteen minutes before the movie.

Or maybe folks are just well and truly done with mumblecore, even in the case of fairly decent examples of it like this one.

Tiger Tail in Blue

* * ¼ (out of four)
Seen 8 March 2014 in the Regent Theatre Underground (Gathr Previews, digital)

Give the latest wave of young independent filmmakers this: They seem to recognize that they don't yet have much life experience to mine for movie plots, and the films they make show that awareness. It doesn't stop them from making things like Tiger Tail in Blue that never really advance its characters beyond being blank slates, but at least it means that this particular example is not weighed down by a mistaken estimate of its own significance.

It focuses on a young married couple in the Chicago area. Melody (Rebecca Spence) is a first-year high school teacher; Christopher (Frank V. Ross) is a writer, which means he waits tables every night and spends more time hanging out with the quiet restaurant's pretty bartender (Megan Mercier) than his wife. It is, as yet, unclear whether their opposing schedules are doing more to put a strain on their marriage or keeping a different sort of strain from building up.

Frank V. Ross writes, directs, edits, and makes the unfortunate misjudgment that the character he plays is the one that will capture the audience's interest. Christopher is kind of a self-centered little twerp, the kind who gets upset enough to rant about thoroughly innocuous things and could probably stand to be a lot more considerate of his wife's schedule, but he's not enough of a jerk to rise to the level of "a real piece of work", and as such never really becomes interesting. Meanwhile, the audience is seeing hints of a story around Melody's everyday life; the rookie teacher who doesn't know if she can handle the job or if it will even be around next year isn't exactly a new or innovative story, but at least it gives the viewer a hook (Ross, like many writers, profoundly overestimates how much sympathy the broke young writer waiting tables and engenders among non-writers), and that viewer can at least see it affecting her.

Full review at EFC

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