Saturday, February 06, 2016

Appropriate Behavior

As much as I know that a gallery space is the natural home of independent film presentations like this - way too off the beaten path to get anything like a run, but not obviously the work of a respected-enough artiste to play a bigger venue - it feels like a weird place for me to be, even if I would have liked to move some of the stuff on their walls to my own and a twitter-friend works at and/or exhibits at Uforge, where the Chlotrudis Society is showing a few of the "buried treasure" nominees this winter. I'll be missing the next one, but take a look at what's under "events" to see if you've got a moment.

I probably won't see enough to be able to vote in this category, which is a bummer, but I get really busy with other movie stuff when the rest of the group sees a wide-open period for catching up. I do kind of hope the next one is a bit brighter - this looked really dark, with some scenes seeming like complete blackness.

If I do get to another one, I'm going to have to remember to give myself more time to get out to Jamaica Plain. The Orange Line isn't bad, but I didn't take Google Maps seriously when it said the half a mile from the station would take fifteen minutes to walk, but JP has some twisty roads.

Appropriate Behavior

* * ¾ (out of four)
Seen 30 February 2016 in Uforge Gallery (Chlotrudis, projected DVD)

Movies like Appropriate Behavior are good checks for figuring out just to what degree you are becoming a grumpy old person. Do you find the main character whiny and irritating from the start? Do you get over it? Certainly, the filmmakers have a fair amount of say in this, especially in terms of overcoming those issues and becoming reasonably entertaining, as this one manages.

It follows Shirin (Desiree Akhavan), who is just breaking up with girlfriend Maxine (Rebecca Henderson) as things get started, although a fair amount of time will be spent looking at that relationship from start to finish. Shirin has not told her parents (Anh Duong & Hooman Majd) that she's bisexual, and she's not exactly putting her M.A. in journalism to good use, either. Her friend Crystal (Halley Feiffer) does get her a line on a job, though, although teaching an after-school movie-making class to five-year-olds is probably not her dream career.

Desiree Akhavan writes and directs in addition to playing Shirin, and it often seems like one of those cases where the filmmaker has taken "write what you know" to heart even though they don't have the age or experience of doing anything but studying film and making film/TV/web videos. So there's a lot of chatting, bonding over what people dislike, and general obliviousness that takes a while to come across as self-aware; self-centered characters in a relationship (or just out of it) that doesn't have enough warmth or scope to matter to an audience.

Full review on EFC.

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