Me & You & Everyone We
– USA – Dir: Miranda July – 5/5
(This is the review I did when I saw
the film at the 2005 Sydney Film Festival. I updated the review when I
saw the film a second time.)
I loved this film. It was my favourite at the Festival. It
is so original, and the humour is so deadpan. In a way it
resembles Paul Thomas Anderson’s wonderful film ‘Punch Drunk Love’, and
yet it is more experimental than that. Its director’s background
as a performance artist is obvious, and informs the film
wonderfully. In fact the feel of the film is a little like that
of a Robert Lepage play or film. And yet this is different
again. It will take you to the very edge of what is acceptable in
some scenes, and yet it is done so earnestly, and with such good will,
that you go with it.
One of the characters, Richard, is played by John Hawkes, one of my
favourite actors from the TV series ‘Deadwood’.
A few notes taken at random of things that I liked:
- ‘You think you deserve the pain but you don't.’
- Driving at a steady speed for the fish.
- Soup won't be computerised. It’s a liquid.
- A Cody Chessnut CD to suck off to.
- Art curator: ‘Is she of colour? No but she's a woman.’
- ‘Could this film have been made in any era or only this one? What
does it tell us about the digital culture?’
There’s a very disturbing thread in the film involving young children
(of varying ages) & sex. But somehow, July presents it in such a
way, and in small ‘bites’, taking us by the hand and telling us not to
be scared. Because we trust her as a director, we go with her.
And eventually we can laugh, but we will also think.
There’s also a strong theme of communication in today’s world.
It’s all different now. You might stay together for the length of
time it takes to walk down a block, or the length of time it takes for
‘Shoe Goo’ to set. There are messages on a window. You send email
messages that you don’t mean. Someone says that we wouldn't have email
without aids (‘fear of bodily contamination’!). The un-bandaged
hand is extra-sensitive.
The film begins & almost ends with a bird – one is real & one
is a picture. Then there’s a coin & a rising sun. This film
is optimistic about people. It makes you feel good. It
makes you think. It makes you wonder. It’s a work of art!